Covid 19 During Pregnancy, Childbirth and Breastfeeding: FAQ For Pregnancy

Risk Of Covid-19 During Pregnancy

As the outbreak of COVID-19 has flattened, its prevention amongst the pregnant women and its risk of vertical transmission has become a crucial concern. Although no reliable evidences are there that can prove the possibility of vertical transmission of coronavirus from mother to baby.

It can be estimated from other respiratory infections such as SARS that those pregnant women are likely to become unwell seriously who contract crucial respiratory infections in the third trimester. There have also been no evidences that COVID-19 may cause hurdles in development of baby or even miscarriage. There has been one case reported but the baby was discharged from the hospital in good condition. In previous cases, the infection was found in the baby after 30 hours of birth. As the data are limited to know the influence of COVID-19 during pregnancy, the research is ongoing.

As more and more evidences will be available, World Health Organization (WHO) will continue to update and review this information.


Protection Of Pregnant Women From Covid-19

The pregnant women must take the safeguard measures to avoid COVID-19 infection as follows:

  • Clean your hands frequently with alcohol-based sanitizer or soap and water.
  • Maintain some space between others and yourself and avoid visiting the crowded spaces.
  • You must avoid touching your face, nose or eyes.
  • The pregnant women should practice respiratory hygiene by covering your nose and mouth with bent elbow, whenever you sneeze or cough.
  • You must avoid the meetings or social gatherings in the specific areas where community transmission is ongoing.
  • Use face mask whenever you step out your home to prevent yourself from infection.


Precautions to be Take During Childbirth

  • The COVID-19 suspected or confirmed woman need to be treated with dignity and respect and there should be a clear communication by maternity staff.
  • Focus must be to keep the oxygen saturation more than 94%, measure oxygen therapy accordingly.
  • It is advisable to do continuous foetal monitoring in labour.
  • Until and unless the respiratory condition of woman demands urgent delivery, the mode of birth must not be changed from one to another.
  • Epidural analgesia must be recommended in labour to women with suspected/confirmed COVID19 to reduce the requirement of general anesthesia if delivery in emergency is required.
  • Make an individual assessment regarding the risks and advantages of continuation of the labour over emergency caesarean birth if this is likely to assist efforts to revive the mother in case of collapse in the woman’s symptoms.
  • Only after wearing PPE, cesarean birth or any other operative procedure must be conducted.


Breastfeeding Measures For Covid-19 Patient

Breastfeeding is very crucial for human health, specifically during the times of emergency. By breastfeeding your child, you will be providing immunological protection to your child. Often the babies remain healthy even if their parents are not well due to infectious diseases. There is no proven evidence to show that the virus can be transmitted by breastmilk. If the woman with COVID-19 wishes to breastfeed her baby, she can do so. However, she needs to take some precautionary measures as follows:

  • The mothers who wish to breastfeed should be motivated to express their breast milk to maintain milk supply, during temporary separation from the baby.
  • There must be a provision of dedicated breast pump. The mothers must practice hand hygiene prior to expressing breast milk. After extracting milk with the pump, all the parts of breast that come into contact with breast must be washed properly and the pump must be disinfected thoroughly.
  • A healthy caregiver should feed the new-born baby with expressed breast milk.
  • If the mother desires to feed through breast directly, she must put facemask and maintain hand hygiene before every feeding session.
  • The surfaces that come into contact with woman suffering from COVID-19 must be disinfected regularly.
  • You will get advised from Public Health Unit, as your baby will also be considered as a “close contact” of a confirmed case.


COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions : Pregnancy, Childbirth and Breastfeeding


What Should I Do if I Am Pregnant and Get Sick?

The symptoms of COVID-19 are like common cold or flu. Therefore, until and unless you are not tested, it is possible that you won’t recognize that you are suffering from COVID-19. If you have symptoms like fever, cough or trouble in breathing then you should not wait and call your health care provider immediately.

Is there any possibility that COVID-19 can be passed from mother to unborn or new-born baby?

This is still an unknown fact that whether COVID-19 can be passed from pregnant women to her foetus or new born baby. This virus has not been found in the samples of breastmilk or amniotic fluid till date.

Is it Safe to Deliver Baby in Hospital?

The hospitals and the birth centers are taking all the possible measures to assure that the mother and babies are safe from germs. The health care facilities make it sure to keep their patients with COVID-19 away from others in the isolation wards.

The hospitals and the birth centers are taking all the possible measures to assure that the mother and babies are safe from germs. The health care facilities make it sure to keep their patients with COVID-19 away from others in the isolation wards.

Can a health care pregnant woman work with patients who are infected by COVID-19?

The pregnant health care workers must be aware of and follow the COVID-19 control guidelines to keep themselves and others safe in environment of health care. Some of the facilities may consider limiting the exposure of pregnant women to the patients who are either confirmed or suspected with COVID-19 infection mainly during high-risk processes like aerosol-generating processes, this decision is based on the availability of the staff. Also, to focus on physical distancing or to eliminate the risks associated at the time of birth, pregnant woman can consider stopping work at approximately 37 weeks or at an earlier time if the delivery is anticipated earlier.

Do a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 pregnant should deliver a child by caesarean section?

According to WHO, there is a need to perform caesarean sections only if these are medically justified. The mode of birth must be based on preference of woman and indication by obstetric.



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