Coronavirus in Pregnancy

Update from 22nd March 2020

  • All pregnant women have been advised to avoid any unnecessary social contact. This has of course raised further alarm bells in our patients who are trying to conceive or already pregnant.
  • So far, and this is a new disease, there does not seem to be any strong evidence that if a mother is infected with COVID-19 during pregnancy that she will develop a more severe form of the disease. Nor is there any evidence that the virus could pass from her to the developing baby in the womb (an effect called vertical transmission) if she does become infected or cause any developmental abnormalities to the baby. The virus has not been found in the fluid around the baby (amniotic fluid) or cord blood (umbilical cord passing from the baby to the placenta) or in the placenta in those mothers that became infected during pregnancy.
  • There have been a couple of reports of premature delivery in mothers infected with COVID-19 but these very small numbers mean no real conclusions can yet be drawn about the risk of COVID-19 in the later stages of pregnancy.

Early Pregnancy Monitoring

  • We will continue to offer early pregnancy monitoring and advice to all our existing patients who are on treatment as well as to those patients who have conceived naturally or through treatment elsewhere.
  • We believe offering patients with early pregnancy complications such as bleeding and pain the opportunity to be assessed and supported at the Agora will lessen the burden on the NHS.

Here to help

We want to provide you with as much support and guidance at this difficult time and our patient support is there for you more than ever. We encourage you to call or message our team with any questions you have. 

 

Advice from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists has recently published that, based on what we know about the virus so far, there does not appear to be any added risk of coronavirus to pregnant women or to their developing baby. Neither does It appear that infection increases the risk of pregnancy loss or fetal complications.

This is reassuring for all those currently attempting to conceive.

Please see the latest guidance for pregnant women and their families published by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) on 21st March 2020:

And their advice for pregnant healthcare workers and employers during the COVID-19 outbreak can be found here:

The key advice for pregnant women who are working in the NHS and other work settings are:

  • Women who are less than 28 weeks pregnant should practise social distancing but can continue working in a patient-facing role, provided the necessary precautions are taken
  • Women who are more than 28 weeks pregnant, or have underlying health conditions, should avoid direct patient contact.

Coronavirus risks to pregnant women – FAQs

Will my baby be affected if I get Coronavirus during my pregnancy?

Women trying to conceive or already pregnant have been asking about the possible effect of the Coronovirus on the developing fetus through an effect called ‘vertical transmission’. This is when the virus passes from the mother to the child and is a particular concern in the first 3 months of pregnancy where a virus could have profound effects on a baby’s development. This is something we see for example with the Zika virus transmitted by mosquitos. Coronavirus does not appear to be transmitted from mother to child during pregnancy. The studies published so far show no presence of the virus in the amniotic fluid that surrounds the baby or the umbilical cord blood in those mothers who became infected during pregnancy. Babies may get infected but this appears to be after they have been delivered.

Could Coronavirus increase my risk of miscarriage?

These are still early days but based on what we know so far, there does not appear to be an increased risk of miscarriage. Since the virus does not seem to cross the placenta to infect the fetus, it seems unlikely that it would increase the chances of pregnancy loss.

Could Coronavirus lead to any complications in pregnancy?

There have been a few reports of premature delivery in mothers infected with COVID-19 but these very small numbers does mean no real conclusions can yet be drawn about the risk of COVID-19 in the later stages of pregnancy.

Am I more prone to getting Coronavirus if I am pregnant and could I be more severely affected?

Pregnant women do not appear to be more prone to getting COVID-19 than the general population unless they have underlying medical health conditions.

Is there any risk with breast feeding?

No the Coronavirus does not appear to be transmitted in breast milk.

Useful links

Here are links to the major health organisations and UK Government websites providing up-to-date advice on the COVID-19 situation.