A parent’s natural instinct is to nurture and protect. So, the Covid-19 pandemic is no doubt a confusing and worrying time for pregnant mothers. Many factors are out of anyone’s control, and there is still much that we do not know about the Covid-19 virus.
We hope the information and advice shared here, by Dr Ramesh Marimuthu, a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at Nilai Medical Centre, will ease your concerns and see you safely through pregnancy.
Covid-19 and pregnancy
We know that people of all ages can be infected with Covid-19. The elderly and those with pre-existing medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease or other heart implications appear to be more at risk. The severity of infection is also riskier for pregnant mothers who may be more sensitive or have lower immunity.
However, currently, there is also no data suggesting an increased risk of miscarriage or early pregnancy loss in relation to Covid-19. Case reports from early pregnancy studies with SARS and MERS do not demonstrate a convincing relationship between infection and increased risk of miscarriage or second trimester loss. There is also limited evidence to show that a pregnant woman with Covid-19 can transmit the virus to her fetus or baby during pregnancy or delivery.
That said, for the best outcome, the recommendation is emergency admission through Caesarean for infected mothers. Their babies are then isolated, and shall not be breast fed, until the mothers are tested and proven negative from the virus.
Most Covid-19 infected mothers will experience mild flu-like symptoms and recover. However, a small percentage can show severe signs such as difficulty in breathing, severe cough and high-grade fever, causing a delay in recovery. To date, there are no reported deaths among pregnant women, and this is a positive sign.