Getting Pregnant During An Outbreak of COVID-19. What Do You Need to Know?

Answered by: Dr Mohd Ramzdhan Bin Mohd Masdar
Updated on: May 5, 2020

Question:
Greetings doctor. I'm a 27-week pregnant woman. I'm worried about this massive COVID-19 outbreak and I'm more concerned about my baby. I once read about the risk of this virus infection in pregnant women. However, most of them do not provide an understandable explanation. What are the steps that I need to take as a pregnant woman or in other words, what is important for me to know? I hope you can help me through this. Thank you doctor.
Answer:
Thank you for asking DoctorOnCall. I understand your concern about the risk of infection of this virus to your fetus. This is normal especially if this is your first child. For your information, though there is little research on this issue, the conclusion now is that the risk of getting infection for pregnant women is no different compared to another group. Pregnant women still need to wash their hands frequently, wear face masks when sick and so on like any other community. Don't worry, I'll elaborate on what pregnant women need to know during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Do you start to feel restless, or find it difficult to fall asleep at night due to the thought of the risk it might imply to your fetus? Did you read or hear rumors about the risk of miscarriage from this virus? Don't be gullible and believe the rumors without questioning. Read more to find out about pregnancy facts during the COVID-19 outbreak. What do you need to know and do? Naturally, pregnant women are very concerned about their baby’s wellbeing, especially because we are now in a difficult situation. However, as you know, pregnancy does not increase the risk of getting severe COVID-19. In addition, pregnant women also do not have a higher risk of contracting the virus. To date, studies have only found that older people with chronic problems are at higher risk of contracting the virus. There is no solid evidence to suggest that the virus infection could cause the risk of miscarriage and defects to the fetus.

However, this does not mean that pregnant women have the immunity against the virus. Without proper hygiene such as washing the hands and cleaning the surface of the object, pregnant women are still at risk of contracting the virus. Therefore, maintain good hygiene by regularly washing your hands with soap and water. Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth without washing hands. If you are unwell, use a mouth and nose mask. If there is no mouth covering, at least use a tissue to cover your mouth when sneezing and coughing. These measures shouldn't be foreign to us as the health ministry has sought to raise awareness about this in the mass media.

Do not ignore the government's recommendation to practice social distancing with at least 1 to 2 meters away and avoid contact with COVID-19 patients or individuals with symptoms. However, if you do have contact with high-risk individuals, tell your doctor over the phone. Get treatment right recommended by your doctor. Also if you have any symptoms, do not delay getting screening and take a risk assessment test. Most pregnant women will not experience any symptoms. Only a small number will show mild symptoms including fever or cough.

As a pregnant mother, you should keep your appointment date with your regular doctor. However, if you are unwell and suspect that you have contact with a COVID-19 patient, you should be responsible for notifying your doctor before attending the appointment. This should not be overlooked because this is an effort in breaking the virus transmission chain and in order for you to not spread the virus to other health workers.

Therefore, it is clear here that pregnant women must adhere to these measures to reduce the risk of COVID-19 virus infection.

  • Keep yourself clean by washing your hands with water and soap
  • Use mouth covering and nose if you are sick
  • Practice social distancing
  • Follow up with pregnancy and inform your doctor if you are at risk

As long as you abide by the steps in the COVID-19 guidelines mentioned above, you don’t have to worry much. Together we can prevent the transmission of the COVID-19 virus!



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