Pregnancy possible complications and how to protect yourself in Coronavirus

Due to the physiological alterations that occur naturally during pregnancy, women have a higher risk of acquiring viral infections, since their immune system is less active. However, in the case of SARS-CoV-2, which is the virus responsible for COVID-19, even though the immune system of the pregnant woman is more compromised, there is no risk of developing more serious symptoms of the disease .

However, even though there is no evidence of severity of COVID-19 related to pregnancy, it is important that women adopt hygiene and precautionary habits to avoid contagion and transmission to other people, such as washing hands with water and soap regularly and cover the mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing. Learn how to protect yourself from COVID-19.
Coronavirus in pregnancy: possible complications and how to protect yourself
Possible complications

To date there are few reports of complications related to COVID-19 during pregnancy

However, according to a study in the United States, it indicates that it is possible that the new coronavirus causes the formation of clots in the placenta, which reduce the amount of blood that is transported to the baby. However, despite this, the development of the baby seems not to be affected, since most of them were born with the appropriate weight and normal development for the gestational age.

Although the coronaviruses responsible for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV-1) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) have been linked to serious complications during pregnancy, such as kidney complications, the need for hospitalization and endotracheal intubation, SARS-CoV-2 was not associated with any complications. However, in the case of women with more severe symptoms, it is important to contact the health service and follow the recommended guidelines. 

Can the virus be transmitted to the baby?

In a study of 9 pregnant women who were confirmed with COVID-19 [2], none of their babies tested positive for the new type of coronavirus, suggesting that the virus is not transmitted from mother to baby during delivery .

In this study, the search for the virus was carried out in the amniotic fluid, in the baby's throat and in breast milk, with the aim of verifying if there would be any risk to the baby, however, the virus was not found in any of these investigations, indicating that the risk of transmission of the virus to the baby during delivery or through breastfeeding is minimal.

Another study carried out with 38 pregnant women positive for SARS-CoV-2 [3] also indicated that the babies were negative for the virus, confirming the hypothesis of the first study.
Can women with COVID-19 breastfeed?

According to the WHO [4] and some studies carried out in pregnant women [2,3], the risk of transmitting the new coronavirus infection to the baby appears to be very low and, therefore, it is advisable for the woman to breastfeed if she feels well and you want to.

It is only recommended that the woman be careful when breastfeeding to protect the baby from other routes of transmission, such as washing hands before breastfeeding and wearing a mask while breastfeeding.

Symptoms of COVID-19 in pregnancy

Symptoms of COVID-19 in pregnancy range from mild to moderate, with symptoms similar to those of people who are not pregnant, including:

    Constant cough;
    Muscle pain;
    General discomfort.

In some cases, diarrhea and shortness of breath were also observed, being important that in these situations the woman go immediately to the hospital. Learn how to identify the symptoms of COVID-19.


How to avoid the spread of Covid-19

Although there is no evidence that the symptoms presented by the woman are serious during pregnancy or that there may be complications for the baby or during pregnancy, it is important that the woman adopt preventive measures to avoid the spread of the new coronavirus, such as:

    Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for about 20 seconds;
    Avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose, cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing;
    Avoid staying in an environment with many people and with little air circulation;
    Wear a mask in case you go to a prenatal checkup at the hospital, removing all your clothes when you get home and taking a bath immediately.

Likewise, it is important for the pregnant woman to remain at rest, drink plenty of fluids, and have healthy habits so that the immune system continues to function and both COVID-19 and other viral diseases are avoided.

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