Calming Coronavirus Fears In Pregnant Women

DAYTON, Ohio (March 31, 2020) – For women who are pregnant, the spread of coronavirus raises unique concerns about their own health and that of their unborn baby. 

David McKenna, MD, a maternal-fetal medicine specialist Perinatal Partners, has some reassuring words and common-sense advice for women who are expecting.

“Data so far does not suggest that COVID-19 causes problems for a developing baby,” said Dr. McKenna, who practices with Premier Physician Network.

No infants born to mothers with COVID-19 have tested positive for the virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC indicates that possible transmission from mother to fetus requires further study.

Doctors are encouraged thus far that COVID-19 does not appear to be like Zika virus or H1N1, viruses that caused harmful birth defects during worldwide outbreaks over the past decade.

Dr. McKenna advises women who are pregnant to stay home as much as possible for their own health and well-being.

Addressing women’s fears that their OB checkups will be canceled or postponed, he says, “Every pregnant mom’s OB is looking carefully at each individual case to decide what is the best interval to wait until the next appointment. Many times, it can be delayed two, three or four weeks very, very safely.”

He urges women who are pregnant to stay as calm as possible, because stress can impact a pregnancy.

Women experiencing pregnancy warning signs such as bleeding, leaking fluid, or contractions should call their obstetrician. He adds, “In addition, call about difficulty breathing or a persistent fever that doesn’t resolve with Tylenol.”

Women who are pregnant haven’t been found to be at greater risk of contracting the virus, and they can protect themselves by following these guidelines:

  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
  • Keep your hands away from your face.
  • Stay away from people who are sneezing or coughing.
  • If you experience symptoms of COVID-19 (cough, fever, shortness of breath, flu-like symptoms), call your primary care provider or obstetrician, who can recommend whether you need to be tested or you can safely stay at home. Do not go directly to your doctor’s office or an emergency department without calling.
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