I wanted to talk about the main concern at this moment: the risks of CoVid 19 on pregnancy and newborn.
I know we kind of talk about it everyday but I also know that the fear is big, especially for pregnant women. Giving birth should be a very special and happy moment but it’s turning into a very stressful event when we miss information.
As a french midwife and a passioned doula in San Francisco, I’ve collected all the data I could find online for you, all published and scientifically approved: these studies are pretty reassuring and I wish you can be a bit more at peace after reading it. If I can make your childbirth experience more enjoyable and confident, then my objective and my heart will be satisfied.
Here is what I found:
If you respect the hygiene rules religiously as well as the shelter in place order, you will more likely be fine. The risks are not higher to get the virus than anyone else.
That means if you are positive to Covid 19, the virus is not transmitted to your baby during your pregnancy/Labor. So the reasons to go for a C-section or an induction should remain the same as before: the decision needs to be made for a medical reason, due to Covid 19 complications for the mom or for other reason related to the labor/pregnancy itself.
The virus doesn’t cause any abnormalities to the fetus development.
All the moms that were positive to Covid 19 improved after treatment.
If you have fever or any other severe symptoms (shortness of breath, tight chest…), you should definitely call your OBGYN to take care of it.
We don’t have a lot of data concerning the first trimester but what we know is that fever leads to contractions. In case of fever, for any reason (bacterial infection; viral infection, food poisoning…) there is always a risk of miscarriage or premature birth. So the risk is more related to the fever than to the virus itself.
The baby might be impacted by the mom’s respiratory condition, not necessarily directly related to the virus. If a mom has difficulty breathing during labor, then the baby is less oxygenated, leading to baby’s heart rate decelerations.
In that case, a C section is more likely to be decided.
It’s hard to say if the Covid 19 is the cause of the distress, or if the distress is due to the premature age of the baby who was born with C section due to mom’s respiratory difficulty.
Only one baby has been tested positive after 36 hours of life without contact with the mom. We are not sure if it was transmitted by a medical team member after the birth or by the mom herself during the labor (it might be less likely the case as the virus has not been found in the amniotic liquid)
For other babies that have had respiratory difficulties, the diagnostic test was negative for Covid 19 at birth. All the babies in the study were healthy in the end.
As a conclusion, these studies have been done on a few number of cases during the 3rd trimester mostly.
We need more data to confirm these hypothesis and to be statistically significant and to know more about 1st and 2nd trimesters. The first outcome is pretty reassuring.
Also, in the general population, it seems that women are less likely to get Covid 19 infections than men. Estrogen being a good part of women immunity system, they would protect the women against infections and so Covid 19. Estrogen along with progesterone is one of the top hormones during pregnancy. Even though during pregnancy, immune system is weaker to allow the baby to grow in utero without being considered like a foreign body, estrogen, being at a high level at that time, might be a protector against infections, including Covid 19.
Considering all this data, here are The WHO recommendations:
To finish on a positive note, here are some advices to boost your immune system and to avoid Covid 19 infection:
Avoid sugar and coffee as they reduce the immunity.
Eat regularly to maintain a good level of energy and prefer:
Vitamine C, D, Zinc are supplements that help for immunity.
Helps the circulation of the blood in your body, to distribute all the nutrients/oxygen to your cells in your internal organs involved in the immune system.
A good quality of sleep allows your cells to regenerate and get more energy. Don’t go to bed too late, eat diner early.
For more info, please visit my website : evedaures.com
Eve Daures doula, San francisco
Wang, S., Guo, L., Chen, L., Liu, W., Cao, Y., Zhang, J., & Feng, L. (2020). A Case Report of Neonatal 2019 Coronavirus Disease in China. Clinical Infectious Diseases. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciaa225
Yu, N., Li, W., Kang, Q., Xiong, Z., Wang, S., Lin, X., … Wu, J. (2020). Clinical features and obstetric and neonatal outcomes of pregnant patients with COVID-19 in Wuhan, China: a retrospective, single-centre, descriptive study. The Lancet Infectious Diseases. doi: 10.1016/s1473–3099(20)30176–6
Liu, D., Li, L., Wu, X., Zheng, D., Wang, J., Yang, L., & Zheng, C. (2020). Pregnancy and Perinatal Outcomes of Women With Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Pneumonia: A Preliminary Analysis. American Journal of Roentgenology, 1–6. doi: 10.2214/ajr.20.23072
Chen, Y., Peng, H., Wang, L., Zhao, Y., Zeng, L., Gao, H., & Liu, Y. (2020). Infants Born to Mothers With a New Coronavirus (COVID-19). Frontiers in Pediatrics, 8. doi: 10.3389/fped.2020.00104
Zhu, H., Wang, L., Fang, C., Peng, S., Zhang, L., Chang, G., … Zhou, W. (2020). Clinical analysis of 10 neonates born to mothers with 2019-nCoV pneumonia. Translational Pediatrics, 9(1), 51–60. doi: 10.21037/tp.2020.02.06