Coronavirus In Pregnancy

Topic: Coronavirus In Pregnancy: Symptoms, Complications, & Other Things To Expect

Pregnant women are considered at high risk for complications from the novel coronavirus. Here’s what to expect from a positive diagnosis in pregnancy.

Many women were expecting as the global pandemic hit the United States last year and many more have become pregnant in the past 12 months. A COVID-19 diagnosis in pregnant women has raised questions about their personal health and the health of their unborn baby.

There is still much to be learned about the virus and its effect on expecting mothers but experts and current testing is shedding light on what we do know, hopefully, helping pregnant mothers make decisions that are right for them.

What To Expect From Coronavirus In Pregnancy

According to Harvard Health, pregnant women may be at an increased risk of contracting COVID-19 compared to others in the same age group, due to the changes and strain your body is under while working overtime to develop a fetus.

Fortunately, given the age group of pregnant women, the risk of severe illness and death is very low. Research shows studies have not found birth defects associated with COVID-19 and though a pregnant woman can transmit the virus to her unborn baby, it is a rare event. One study tested 47 women with COVID-19 and found none of the newborns had been infected. Another case found two positive newborns in 101 births. It’s unclear if the virus was passed in the womb or after birth, but both infants had no concerning symptoms and did not become sick.

Harvard Health reports having COVID-19 could increase the risk for premature birth, particularly in those with severe symptoms. In a recent report of 600 hospitalized pregnant women with COVID-19, 12 percent of births were preterm, higher than pregnant women in the general population and miscarriage rate was just two percent. The average miscarriage rate is 10 percent. Experts also believe, even if you’ve tested positive for COVID-19 you can breastfeed your baby safely. There is no evidence the virus is passed through breastmilk.

Common Symptoms Of COVID-19

Some symptoms can mimic pregnancy symptoms such as fatigue, muscle and body aches, headaches and nausea. Other symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath, loss of taste or smell, sore throat and congestion, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

In a national study by UC San Francisco and UCLA, the most common symptoms in pregnant women with COVID-19 include sore throat, body aches and fever. They also tend to last longer than the typical, exhibiting symptoms for two months or longer. Researchers are hoping data collected in the ongoing study will help scientists and healthcare professionals assess the risk and guide treatment for pregnant women.

Topic Discussed: Coronavirus In Pregnancy: Symptoms, Complications, & Other Things To Expect

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