Pregnancy and Corona pandemic (Covid-19)

  25. November 2020

Since the outbreak of the Corona Virus in spring 2020 it has been the dominating topic. Now the second wave has arrived, but unlike in spring pregnant women are considered to be a risk group. In the following text we want to give you an update to what is known about Corona Virus.

Corona pandemic and pregnancy

Pregnant women do not generally have a higher risk to get a corona infection. However they do have a slightly higher risk to develop severe Covid-19 especially when older than 35 years, overweight or with pre-existing medical conditions such as hypertension and diabetes. Therefore it is essential to take precautions to avoid an infection. Wear a mask, wash your hands regularly and keep a distance of at least 1.5m to others not living in the same household with you. These rules also apply to your partner. Pregnant women should work in home office when ever possible. If not possible the employer has to take care of the hygiene and distance measures to protect pregnant employees from getting infected.

During flu season it is highly recommended for pregnant women to get vaccinated for Influenza to avoid a simultanous infection with Influenza and Corona Virus. Courses such as prenatal gymnastics or child birth classes should be attended online or outdoor.

Corona infection

It seems possible that a pregnant woman can pass the corona virus on to her unborn baby. However it is thought to happen rarely. There are case reports about the so called vertical transmission especially in the third trimester. In these cases the newborns showed COVID 19 like symptoms, but had a mild desease and developed normally. Right now our understanding is that most infections from mother to baby happen after birth via aerosols. Even if you tested positiv for Corona Virus close to your Due Date you can choose the mode of birth according to your preferences. It is not necessary to give birth by caesarean sectio just because of Corona Virus. Close contact and early, exclusive breastfeeding is recommended even for mothers tested positiv for Corona Virus but special hygiene measures should be performed to prevent an infection of the newborn.

So far little is known about effects of a Corona Virus infection in the first and second trimester. There is no evidence for a higher incidence of fetal malformations caused by Corona Virus. There have been reports about an increase in preterm labor since the beginning of the pandemic. This seems to apply especially to the rate of late preterm labor after 34 weeks and is in over 90% iatrogenic.

Due to the rapid changing situation in the COVID 19 pandemic and the little knowledge we have acquired about the Virus so far recommendations can change any time. Please come and see us for your regular checks and don’t hesitate to discuss your questions and concerns with us. Stay healthy.