COVID-19 and Pregnancy
If you are pregnant, you are more prone to getting infections and may have several questions regarding your pregnancy and baby.
- As yet, there is no evidence that pregnant women who get this infection are more at risk of serious complications.
- It is expected the large majority of pregnant women will experience only mild or moderate cold/flu-like symptoms.
- If you are infected with COVID-19 you are still most likely to have no symptoms or a mild illness from which you will make a full recovery.
- We still do not know if a pregnant woman with COVID-19 can pass the virus to her baby during pregnancy or delivery.
- You must consult an expert who can help you with a diet plan to have a healthy baby and boost your immunity and recovery.
A small number of babies have been diagnosed with coronavirus shortly after birth, so there is a chance that infection may have occurred in the womb, but it is not certain whether the transmission was before or soon after birth.
Your maternity team will maintain strict infection control measures at the time of your birth and closely monitor your baby.
Breast milk provides protection against many illnesses and is the best source of nutrition for most infants.
There is no evidence showing that the virus can be passed on in breast milk but an infected mother can transmit the virus through respiratory droplets during breastfeeding.
You and the doctor should decide whether and how to start or continue breastfeeding.
- If you have COVID-19 and choose to breastfeed:
- Wear a mask during the feeding and wash your hands before each feeding.
- If you have COVID-19 and choose to express breast milk:
- A dedicated breast pump should be used.
- Wear a mask during expression and wash your hands before touching any pump or bottle parts and before expressing breast milk.
- If possible, expressed breast milk should be fed to the infant by a healthy caregiver.
- It is important that your baby is feeding well and gaining weight.
The American Academy of Pediatrics strongly recommends AGAINST masks for small children, especially babies, because of the high risk for suffocation.
Shwetha Bhatia, Registered Dieteitan, Mind Your Fitness!
- CDC (https://www.cdc.gov),
- WHO (https://www.who.int),
- Royal College Of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists ( https://www.rcog.org.uk),
- Archives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine (https://www.archivesofpathology.org/doi/10.5858/arpa.2020-0901-SA)