COVID-19 and Perinatal Care
Perinatal: relating to the time, usually a number of weeks, before and after birth.
The information available on this virus is still extremely limited therefore it is unknown whether pregnant women are at greater risk of contracting the disease or at a greater risk for having complications as a result of the disease.
From the limited number of infants born from mothers who tested positive for COVID-19, none of the babies have tested positive and samples of amniotic fluid as well as breastmilk were also negative for the virus. Of the couple cases of infants testing positive for COVID-19, it is unsure whether they contracted it before or after delivery.
As in any other time, pregnant woman should take adequate precautions to remain as healthy and disease-free as possible. With this being said, pregnant women should take part in the same measures as the general population to avoid getting sick including but not limited to:
- frequent and thorough hand washing
- limiting social interactions
- getting adequate sleep and nutrition
- avoiding people who are sick
Breastfeeding and COVID-19
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) advises that women who have tested positive for the virus and are currently breastfeeding can continue to do so but should take any and all precautionary measures to avoid infecting their infant. This includes washing their hands thoroughly before handling their baby and cleaning their breasts as well as any breastfeeding equipment (i.e pumps, blankets, bottles) between uses. Furthermore, mothers should wear a face mask while breastfeeding or try to get someone who isn’t ill to feed pumped milk to the baby.
Influenza versus COVID-19
Although the seasonal flu is something that seems more common and less threatening than the corona virus, it is not necessarily the case; influenza remains a “persistent concern”, according to the American College of Gynecology and Obstetrics, and therefore, should be handled as such. In the 2017-2018 flu season, the virus claimed around 61,000 deaths in the United States alone. This emphasizes the importance of the flu vaccine which is highly recommended for the general population and even more so for pregnant patients.
For more information visit: