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Special rules for infected pregnant women
The uncertainty about the effects of the new coronavirus Sars-CoV-2 can be clearly felt in Germany. Many pregnant women and their families are concerned about whether COVID-19 affects pregnancy or whether pregnant women are at risk. The German Society for Gynecology and Obstetrics (DGGG) provides information about known risks.
"If a coronavirus infection is suspected or even confirmed in pregnant women, special rules apply," writes the DGGG and the professional association of gynecologists (BVF) in a current press release. The institutions have summarized the current findings in a contribution by the "German Board and College of Obstetrics and Gynecology". Here is the most important thing in brief.
Are pregnant women more at risk of coronavirus than other women?
According to the professional associations, there is currently no indication that pregnant women are more at risk than the general population due to the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. According to the current state of affairs, the experts expect that the majority of pregnant women will only develop mild or moderate flu-like symptoms in the course of a COVID-19 disease.
As in the rest of the population, it also counts among pregnant women that people with a weakened immune system or chronic diseases are at increased risk and develop serious complications such as pneumonia more often.
Does the corona virus affect the unborn baby?
Even if there is still insufficient information available, there is no reason to worry, based on current knowledge. According to the professional associations, there is no indication that the coronavirus leads to an increased risk of miscarriages.
Likewise, there is no evidence that the virus is transmitted to the baby. According to the current state of knowledge, experts believe it is unlikely that the virus will lead to abnormalities in the fetus. In 20 examined pregnancies in China, in which the mother developed Covid-19, the newborn was never infected.
The main rules of conduct for pregnant women
As with all other people, the same applies here: regular hand washing as soon as you get home or to work from public places! In addition, according to the specialist societies, contact with people with cold symptoms should be avoided - even if they are people from their own family.
How should you behave if you develop flu-like symptoms?
Similar to the flu, a coronavirus infection manifests itself through symptoms such as dry cough, fever, runny nose and fatigue. You may also experience breathing problems, sore throat, headache and body aches, which may be accompanied by nausea and vomiting, diarrhea and chills. You can find a detailed description of the clinical picture in the article: Coronavirus - Symptoms, Contagion and Prevention.
If you are pregnant and develop such complaints, you should, like everyone else, first contact your responsible health department (here you will find the responsible office) or the emergency medical service on telephone number 116117. You should also contact the responsible gynecologist to contact.
Can infected pregnant women take part in prenatal appointments?
The gynecologist should be consulted first. In most cases, the dates are postponed until the home quarantine ends. However, if an appointment cannot wait, the responsible doctors take the necessary precautions.
What should pregnant women do if they need help during quarantine?
"Pregnant women are advised not to visit general office hours or clinics unless they urgently need medical care," recommend the specialist societies. Before the quarantine, it should be clarified who is responsible in the event of an emergency. "The procedure should include both the receiving hospital, the documents to be carried as well as the appropriate means of transportation there," advises the DGGG and BVF.
Does Coronavirus Infection Affect Birth?
According to current knowledge, there is no evidence that the type of birth affects the risk of infection in the baby. If there is a serious respiratory disease, a Caesarean birth is often more sensible. The specialist societies expressly advise against the use of nitrous oxide, as this could increase the aerosolization and the spread of the virus. After birth, a coronavirus test is performed on the newborn.
Can the baby be breastfed despite the corona virus?
The specialist societies currently see no evidence that the virus is transmitted through breast milk. The recognized benefits of breastfeeding therefore seem to outweigh the potential risks of transmission. "Infected mothers or suspected cases should prevent the transmission of the virus by droplet infection when breastfeeding through hygiene measures such as thorough hand washing before and after contact with the child and by wearing a face mask," the specialist societies recommend. (vb)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.
Graduate editor (FH) Volker Blasek
- German Board and College of Obstetrics and Gynecology: Coronavirus FAQ for pregnant women and their families (published: March 12th, 2020), dggg.de