I’m an Obstetrician working during the COVID-19 pandemic and this is what I want pregnant women to know

Here’s what we know so far and how to act accordingly…

We don’t understand the virus and how it behaves, and in contrast to the flu virus, we can’t predict the numbers that will be affected, added to which, there is no cure. So, we have no choice, but to wait it out, and use the only protection we can, social distancing.

This is particularly so for those who have been identified as the at most vulnerable groups, and if you’re pregnant, you fall within this group.

Now, unlike the over 70s and those with long-standing health conditions, your chances of developing complications from Coronavirus are thought to be much less. But, any pregnant woman has what we refer to as an immunocompromised system, meaning that she isn’t able to mount the normal immune response you would expect to if you weren’t pregnant. This is an issue when it comes to viruses because it means that a pregnant woman is not only more susceptible to getting one, but that if she does, there could be consequences to her health and the health of her baby.

So far, out of the limited number of case studies in China where women who have been pregnant got Coronavirus, the results have overall been reassuring. Most women were fine, as were their babies. A small number did go into preterm labour, but it isn’t clear whether this was as a result of the virus and infection, or whether preterm delivery was necessary for another reason.

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