Pregnancy and the SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus: Frequently Asked Questions
If a woman is pregnant, can she transmit the virus to her baby?
According to the data that is currently available, there is no evidence of mother-to-child vertical transmission. This means that a mother cannot transmit the virus to her unborn child, either via the placenta or during birth. Thus far, in the cases where newborns were infected, this happened post-partum, hours after they were born.
The studies carried out show that the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus spreads via the respiratory route, when in close contact with someone who is infected. Transmission occurs through small droplets that come from the nose and mouth of an infected person when they cough or exhale. Therefore, it spreads in a similar manner to the flu and other respiratory viruses.
What measures should a pregnant woman take as regards COVID-19?
The preventative measures that a pregnant woman should take are the same as those for any other person:
- Practice good hygiene by washing your hands with soap and water or a 70% alcohol solution.
- If you need to cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with the inside of your elbow or with disposable tissue paper.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with your hands unless you have properly washed or sanitised them first.
- Do not share utensils like cutlery, cups, or towels, along with food or objects that haven't been correctly cleaned first.
Follow the link to find more health advice on how to avoid being infected with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.
Does COVID-19 affect the birth plan?
Having COVID-19 should not affect how you plan on giving birth. The birth will be vaginal, unless there’s another cause that justifies a C-section.
What should a pregnant woman do if she suspects she has COVID-19?
Currently, there is not enough data on the relationship between the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus and pregnancy and its possible effects. In the scientific literature, eighteen cases of pregnant women with COVID-19 have been described in China. In these cases, the women contracted the virus during the third trimester of pregnancy and the symptoms were mild, without severe pneumonia. Thus, it is recommended that there be early care and strict monitoring of the pregnancy in the case of suspected infection, to minimise any possible risk of premature birth or intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR).