Dr. Laura Alsina – Sanchez of Partners in Women’s Health in Jupiter, Florida answered some frequently asked questions she gets from patients about Covid 19 and pregnancy.
How does COVID-19 affect a pregnant woman?
Pregnant women are affected in similar way as non-pregnant women. However, new evidence shows a potential for higher risk of ICU admission and needing breathing assistance in pregnant women compared to non-pregnant women.
How does COVID-19 affect a fetus?
There is no definitive evidence that COVID-19 crosses the placenta and infects the fetus causing issue though some samples of placenta and amniotic fluid have tested positive for COVID-19. The risk to the fetus is mainly if there is significant maternal infection that would require a preterm delivery.
Is it safe to get a vaccination for COVID-19 if I am pregnant or trying to get pregnant?
Yes. The American Society of Reproductive Medicine and American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology still recommend the vaccine even if pregnancy or trying to become pregnant. There is no evidence that the vaccines cause infertility, birth defects, miscarriage or stillbirth.
If I decide to get a vaccination for COVID-19, what should I expect?
Most people experience some sort of side effect though the severity varies. Most commonly you will have pain, redness and swelling in the arm where the vaccine was given. Other potential side effects include fatigue, fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, chills and body aches. If you are pregnancy and have a fever related to the vaccine, take Tylenol to reduce your temperature.
Should I travel on an airplane if I am pregnant?
If there are no pregnancy complications, women can fly up to 34-36 weeks gestation. If traveling on an airplane, compression socks help with swelling and it’s recommended to walk down the aisle every 2 hours to help with circulation and decrease risk of blood clot.
Should I be attending all of my regular doctor’s appointments during COVID?
Yes, seeking prenatal care and routine medical care is recommended. Take precautions and follow recommendations of CDC and office protocols, knowing that offices may have more conservative requirements currently than CDC based on patient population.
What should I do if I am pregnant and think I have Covid-19?
Notify your provider who will recommend obtaining testing for COVID-19
What if I am diagnosed with Covid-19 while I am pregnant?
It is important to notify provider of positive test so that arrangements for prenatal care can be arranged according to office protocol.
I am pregnant, are there certain things I should avoid during the pandemic?
Given increased risk of COVID-19 during pregnancy, it is recommend to still social distance and following CDC guidelines and recommendations. Maintain good hygiene and wear mask especially if not yet vaccinated.