The introduction of a new coronavirus strain into countries worldwide has brought many new changes, concerns and fears to people everywhere. Pregnant women, in particular, are naturally concerned about what the virus could mean for themselves and their unborn babies. Since many myths are being circulated right now, let’s take a closer look at the more common misconceptions surrounding pregnancy and Covid-19.
Pregnant women are more likely to get sick
Of course, since information is still being gathered on this virus, this myth may eventually prove to be completely false or have some element of truth to it. However, as of right now, pregnant women appear to have the same level of risk that adults who are not pregnant do, as noted by Canada.ca (https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/publications/diseases-conditions/pregnancy-advise-mothers.html).
Do keep in mind that when you are pregnant, you have changes in your body that could increase the risk of certain infections. Therefore, a pregnant person could have a higher risk of more serious illness anytime they are infected with viruses from the coronavirus family or other respiratory infections, such as the seasonal flu.
Pregnant women transmit the virus to their babies in utero
At this point, research indicates that pregnant women do not transmit the virus to their babies while the babies are in the womb. The virus has not been found in amniotic fluid, cord blood, breast milk or other maternal samples from an infected mother. There have been a small number of infants who tested positive for the virus after birth, but it is not known whether the infants got the virus before they were born or immediately afterward. Post-birth, a newborn is very susceptible to person-to-person spread. Hospitals and care providers are taking extra precautions during and after birth to help prevent the spread of this illness.
Pregnant women can’t breastfeed if they are infected
According to Canada.ca, this virus has not been found in the breast milk of infected mothers yet, although studies are limited (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/pregnancy-breastfeeding.html). The decision to breastfeed if you are infected belongs to you, your family and your medical care provider. If you do decide to breastfeed, be sure to follow all of the safety instructions from your doctor for the method of breastfeeding you will be using.
Keep yourself safe
Avoid anyone who has been exposed to this novel virus or is sick. Clean your hands using soap and water often, and use sanitizer with alcohol when soap and water are not immediately available. Surfaces that are frequently touched in your home or at your work–such as doorknobs–should be cleaned and disinfected each day. Stay home as much as possible to avoid contact with a sick person; some people with this virus have no or mild symptoms, but they are still able to pass it onto others, and those people could become seriously ill.
Despite these challenging times, you can still learn more about in vitro fertilization and all of your treatment options from a fertility treatment provider. Many providers are offering telephone and video consultations so you can decide whether this treatment is right for you, ask questions and get started on your journey.