Health First Physician Advises Pregnant and New Moms to Follow Same COVID-19 Precautions

By  //  April 16, 2020

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OB/GYN Patients Should Practice Same Standards as General Public to Avoid Getting Sick

With COVID-19 being a novel or new coronavirus, plenty of questions are swirling on what it means for people with varying health conditions.  (Health First image)

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – With COVID-19 being a novel or new coronavirus, plenty of questions are swirling on what it means for people with varying health conditions. 

Among those concerned are pregnant women and new moms. 

“Pregnant patients are to take the same precautions as recommended to the general public,” said Stephen Tobia, MD, an OB/GYN with Health First Medical Group.

“There are currently no specific recommendations for pregnancy.”

Since the virus is so new and there is still so much unknown about it, it’s difficult to determine the risk to her baby if a pregnant woman is infected with COVID-19.

“We don’t have clear information on this yet,” Tobia said. “Per the very limited information we do have, it does not seem to be transmitted from mother to baby while she is pregnant. This information could change as we are studying new cases.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises that “no infants born to mothers with COVID-19 have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. In these cases, which are a small number, the virus was not found in samples of amniotic fluid or breastmilk.”

As with the general public, pregnant woman and new moms are urged to follow the same standards to avoid getting sick:

• Cover your cough or sneeze, using a tissue or the crook of your arm 

• Avoid people who are sick

• Clean your hands often using soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer

• Practice social distancing

New moms who are breastfeeding might also wonder if they should continue doing so should they become infected with COVID-19.

“It is not yet known if COVID-19 can be transmitted through breastmilk,” Tobia said.

“Very limited data does not find the virus in breastmilk of infected moms.

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The primary concern, however, would be spreading the virus through respiratory droplets during the breastfeeding period. Newborn infants, like pregnant women, will always be considered an at-risk population.”

The CDC stated that “a mother with confirmed COVID-19 or who is a symptomatic person under investigation (PUI) should take all possible precautions to avoid spreading the virus to her infant, including washing her hands before touching the infant and wearing a face mask, if possible, while feeding at the breast.”

If it’s possible for someone who is well to feed the infant safely expressed breastmilk, that’s another option. 

Tobia said pregnant patients should stay informed with the latest developments.

“Information is changing fast,” he said. “Stay informed and try your best to reduce exposure during your daily lives.” 

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