FARMINGTON, Conn. — We’ve already seen how the Coronavirus doesn’t stop at state borders. It also doesn’t matter your age, race gender or if you are pregnant or not. So if you are pregnant or are planning a family, what do you need to know about COVID-19?
A pregnancy WITHOUT a pandemic can be filled with worry. But FOX61 is here to give you the facts, not the fear. UConn Health says they are ready to handle both births and Coronavirus. They say that right now, there is no evidence to suggest the disease is passed to the baby.
UConn Health in Farmington is your touchpoint for Mother To Baby. It’s a non-profit resource sharing website for all things maternal.
”They also help us out with infections in and around pregnancy so it’s a great resource,” said Dr. Christopher Morosky of UConn Health.
They put out fact sheets. Like the one on the Zika Virus epidemic in 2015. Zika is a virus that did cause microcephaly, a birth defect where a baby is born with a small head.
“This is apparently not true with COVID-19,” said Dr. Morosky.
But as of now, far less is known about how the novel Coronavirus affects a pregnant woman. “The information that we have now is very limited. It’s limited to just a handful of cases.”
Here is what we do know. It doesn’t get passed to the baby. Dr. Morosky said, “It doesn’t cross the placenta it doesn’t affect the fetus it doesn’t affect the fetus or the amniotic fluid.”
Mothers with COVID-19 will be separated from their newborn but there are no signs of the virus in breast milk.
“The breastmilk itself is safe. It is possible for moms to continue to provide breastmilk to their babies through pumping,” said Morosky.
Studies do suggest respiratory illnesses put pregnant women at risk of complications. “Pregnancy is a time where there are changes in the heart and in the lungs. There is also some immunosuppression so we do know that pregnant women are going to be at higher risk.”
UConn Health says one of their most difficult decisions is restricting visitors for what is usually a joyous time shared with family. “We are hoping that with the use of technology like FaceTime and other video transmission that we are able to have people still join in on this happy moment.”
If you aren’t pregnant yet but are planning a family, there is no evidence to suggest COVID-19 affects fertility in either men or women. But the question going forward as we try to flatten the curve of infection is will the hospital beds be available? UConn says they will do everything they can to meet that need.