Dr. Mauney says that there was initially a lot of confusion about whether pregnancy actually increases a woman’s COVID-19 risks. We’ve known for years that pregnant women are more susceptible to getting sick from common respiratory illnesses like the flu. However, we did not have the data necessary to confirm this for COVID-19. It was frustrating to not be able to provide clear and confident answers to pregnant women early in the pandemic.
Dr. Mauney states that data now shows that pregnant women are more likely to experience severe COVID-19 cases than women who aren’t.
There is increasing evidence that COVID-19 has led to a significant increase in the number of hospitalizations of pregnant women than of nonpregnant ones. Dr. Mauney warns that pregnant women are more likely than nonpregnant women to be admitted to the ICU and need ventilator support.
You may be at greater risk of becoming seriously ill from COVID-19 if you are pregnant. This means you need to be extra vigilant and take community mitigation practices, such as social distancing or wearing a mask, and proper hand hygiene, very seriously.
Is it possible to pass on COVID-19?
Apart from the increased risk to yourself, you are likely more concerned about passing COVID-19 on to your baby if it happens. Dr. Mauney suggests that you shouldn’t be too worried.
Dr. Mauney says that although there are some reports that moms have passed COVID-19 to their babies from anecdotal sources, the majority of placental testing suggests that vertical transmission is extremely rare. You should still avoid getting sick. COVID-19 symptoms can make pregnant women feel more uncomfortable and could even lead to a hospital stay.
Is this normal?
It can be stressful, even when it is the best thing. There are also the postpregnancy “baby blues” that you need to be concerned about.
There’s the added stress of a pandemic, and being pregnant during a Pandemic. It’s not surprising that current stress levels are so complex, depression rates and referrals for psychologists and counselors are high.
Dr. Mauney warns that depression can lead to low birth weight and increased preterm birth rates. If you feel anxious or down, don’t hesitate to contact your OB/GYN. Stress and anxiety due to all the unknowns is normal. We can help decrease the chance of depression in your pregnancy.
Is it safe for a pregnant woman to work during COVID-19?
We all know that you have to work. During COVID-19, you might not be able to work remotely. How concerned should you be about safety at work?
Dr. Mauney says, “I encourage expecting mothers to continue working, but with additional precaution.” Dr. Mauney says that to ensure your safety, you need to make sure everyone in your workplace (employees, guests, and visitors) wears masks. Also, give them plenty of opportunities to practice good hand hygiene. Expecting moms should ask for work in areas that have the lowest exposure to COVID-19-infected people.
Ask your OB-GYN to provide a letter to your employer stating the precautions that must be taken in order to accommodate you at work.