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Pregnancy During COVID-19 Pandemic: Is It Safe?

During pregnancy, women commonly have altered immune systems that increase their risk of complications from viruses like the flu. But health experts said the novel coronavirus appears to have little to no effect on pregnant women and their babies. 

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, many people have asked whether it is safe to get pregnant or not. Health officials in the United Kingdom said that there is no evidence that the virus could cause serious complications in both the mother and baby, ScienceAlert reported.

In fact, no country has reported any pregnant women dying of the coronavirus infection. Even if a woman contracts COVID-19 during pregnancy, initial investigations suggested that her baby is unlikely to get infected, according to officials at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), the Royal College of Midwives and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH).
 
“Over the coming weeks and months it is likely pregnant women in the UK will test positive for coronavirus,” Edward Morris, president of the RCOG, said. “While the data is currently limited it is reassuring that there is no evidence that the virus can pass to a baby during pregnancy.”

A report by the World Health Organization (WHO) showed that only 8 percent of pregnant women who contracted COVID-19 in China developed severe symptoms and 1 percent became critically ill. 

Majority of the patients appeared with only mild or moderate symptoms. In addition, even the pregnant patient who required mechanical ventilation made a good recovery.

Another study in China suggested that the novel coronavirus does not travel from the mother to the baby while in the womb. Researchers said that all amniotic fluid, cord blood and breast milk samples from pregnant women with COVID-19 pneumonia tested negative for the virus.

The U.K. health officials also noted there is no data suggesting COVID-19 could increase the risk of miscarriage or early pregnancy loss. Studies that looked into SARS and MERS, which are also linked to coronaviruses, “do not demonstrate a convincing relationship” between the pregnancy issues and diseases. 

They noted that women may continue breastfeeding and staying close to their newborn babies amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Based on current evidence, we don't believe that babies born to women who test positive for coronavirus should be separated,” Russell Viner, president of the RCPCH, said. “The impact of this separation, even as a precaution, can be significant on both the baby and the mother.”

However, the officials noted pregnant women with underlying health issues, such as diabetes or lupus, should seek advice from healthcare providers due to higher risk of health problems.

Pregnant In COVID-19 Pandemic Health officials in the U.K. said that there is no evidence that the novel coronavirus could cause serious complications in both the mother and baby during pregnancy. Pixabay

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