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Corona and pregnancy: how dangerous is the virus for mother and child?

A new type of virus that spreads rapidly, is often mild, but can also cause serious complications: There are currently not many positive things to report about the currently circulating coronavirus Sars-CoV-2 – with a few exceptions. Including: Expectant mothers do not appear to be in the risk group for severe courses. “At the present time, there is no international indication that pregnant women are at higher risk than the general population due to the novel coronavirus. The vast majority of pregnant women are expected to have only mild or moderate symptoms similar to a cold or flu. More serious symptoms such as Pneumonia seems to be more common in older people, people with weakened immune systems or long-term illnesses, “says one Message, which was signed by three medical associations, including the professional association of gynecologists and the German Society for Gynecology and Obstetrics.

The text answers 17 pressing questions about coronavirus and pregnancy. One of the most important is probably whether and how the virus could affect the health of the unborn child. Here too, the experts give the all-clear: “There is no evidence of an increased risk of miscarriage. There is also no evidence that the virus can be transmitted to the baby during pregnancy.” Internationally, there are 20 cases of women who were infected with the virus during pregnancy. All cases were in China. “In no case was a newborn infected. No abnormalities were reported in the mother and child.”

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Pregnant women should still pay close attention to hygiene – as is generally recommended for all people, regardless of whether they are at risk or not. This includes: regular, thorough hand washing and keeping a distance from other people. Especially if they have a fever or show symptoms of a cold.

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But what about prenatal appointments with the gynecologist if pregnant women are in quarantine or if they suspect an infection or have been confirmed? Simply going into practice should be avoided – unnecessarily many people are exposed to the risk of infection. Instead, the specialist societies advise: “You should contact your gynecologist to inform him or her that you are currently self-isolating for a possible or confirmed coronavirus infection. It is likely that routine prenatal appointments be delayed without harm to you or your child until isolation ends. ” In justified exceptional cases, the practice could also take measures so that the appointment can be kept.

Birth and breastfeeding

As the delivery date approaches, women should think about how and where they want to give birth. If the infection is confirmed, the experts advise against giving birth at home and giving birth in the birth house if only midwives are present. in which the baby can be continuously electronically monitored and the oxygen content checked every hour. “

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A vaginal birth is fundamentally possible, according to the current state of knowledge a cesarean section is not per se safer, the message goes on. However, respiratory illness can be a reason for a caesarean section – depending on the severity of the symptoms. Breastfeeding is also fundamentally not prohibited: “There is currently no evidence that the virus can be transmitted through breast milk. It is therefore assumed that the recognized benefits of breastfeeding outweigh the potential risks of transmission of the coronavirus.”

However, the experts emphasize that these are preliminary preliminary findings. Recommendations could change at any time as knowledge of the new virus evolves.

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Source: “FAQ for pregnant women and their families about specific risks of COVID-19 virus infection”

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