Suppression of the immune system and physiological changes during pregnancy make expectant mothers more susceptible to infections.
Suppression of the immune system and physiological changes during pregnancy make expectant mothers more susceptible to infections. The coronavirus, which affects the whole world, increases the concerns of both pregnant women and mothers who have recently given birth. Expectant mothers looking for answers to many questions such as whether the Covid-19 virus passes to the baby in the womb or does it affect the way of delivery may be more stressed in this process. Memorial Ankara Hospital Obstetrics and Gynecology Department Op. Dr. Figen Beşyaprak answered the 19 most curious questions about the Covid-10 virus and its effects during pregnancy.
1-Does pregnancy increase the risk of getting coronavirus?
Expectant mothers become more susceptible to respiratory tract infections due to some suppression of the immune system during pregnancy, the presence of edema in the respiratory mucosa, decrease in lung capacity especially in advanced gestational weeks and high oxygen consumption. However, in the studies conducted, there is no increased sensitivity for Covid-19 infection in pregnant women.
2-Does pregnancy cause coronavirus to be more severe?
Pregnancy is a physiological condition that predisposes women to respiratory complications of viral and bacterial infection. Infection of pregnant women with respiratory tract microorganisms due to physiological changes in the immune and cardio-pulmonary systems brings the risk of developing more severe diseases. On the other hand, it is known that SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV may be responsible for more severe clinical courses during pregnancy. However, so far there is no evidence that pregnant women are more susceptible to Covid-19 infection or those who get coronavirus are more likely to develop more severe pneumonia.
3-Does the coronavirus pass to the baby in the womb?
In women who developed Covid-19 pneumonia in the later months of pregnancy, intrauterine infection was evaluated in terms of vertical transmission, and in the examinations performed on pregnant women in the last trimester, it was observed that there was no transmission of Covid-19 from mother to baby. According to the results of the study involving 936 newborns, it was determined that there was a low rate of transmission from mother to baby in the last three months of pregnancy at a rate of 3.7 percent. This rate was found to be similar to other infections in the mother's womb.
4-Could the antibodies of the mother who had coronavirus pass to the baby?
IGM formed in the mother does not pass to the baby through the placenta. Antibodies were found to be positive in samples taken from babies. This rate, which is 3.2 percent, is the antibodies produced by the baby in case of infection to the baby.
5-Should expectant mothers take vitamin and mineral supplements during the illness process?
One of the most important weapons in the fight against coronavirus is a strong immune system. For this reason, expectant mothers should keep their immune systems strong by taking care of their nutrition for the health of both themselves and their babies during the pandemic. However, it is recommended that they take vitamin supplements given in the normal period, especially vitamins C and D.
6-Does the coronavirus affect the mode of delivery?
Delivery by natural means or by cesarean is decided according to the current course of pregnancy and the health status of the expectant mother and baby. In the light of limited research, it can be said that the coronavirus is not related to the mode of birth. Therefore, the delivery method of pregnant women caught in coronavirus can be carried out as planned. If the general health of the mother and baby is good, vaginal delivery can be preferred. Not accepting visitors to the house after birth is extremely important in terms of mother and baby health and continuing to apply social isolation rules.
7-How should the birth be performed in the presence of Covid-19?
Cases with starting labor should be followed up in the delivery unit in negative pressure isolated rooms under the conditions reported by the Ministry of Health. The issues to be considered in follow-up are as follows:
- The mother's temperature, oxygen saturation in the blood, respiration rate, pulse and blood pressure should be followed carefully.
- Fetal monitoring should be done with NST.
- Blood oxygen saturation should be kept above 95 percent.
- There is no clear recommendation on the mode of delivery. In the series, it is observed that deliveries are mostly done by cesarean section. It is thought that respiratory distress in pregnant women plays a role in the high cesarean rates. However, there is no evidence that vaginal discharge poses a risk of transmission to the baby.
8-Does the coronavirus pass to the baby through breast milk?
There is no evidence that coronavirus can be transmitted through breast milk in studies conducted so far. It is therefore thought that the well-known benefits of breastfeeding outweigh the potential risk of coronavirus being transmitted through breast milk. The risks of close contact between mother and baby are determined by the multidisciplinary team according to the benefit-harm balance.
9-How should pregnant women caught with coronavirus follow up?
During the coronavirus epidemic, it should not be hesitated to apply to the nearest health institution after taking the necessary measures to follow up pregnancy. Suspected or diagnosed asymptomatic and mild cases in pregnant women should be followed up with ultrasonography, amnion and, if necessary, doppler USG every 2-4 weeks after recovery.
10-Can radiological imaging be done to expectant mothers who have coronavirus?
In the event that coronavirus is caught despite all the precautions taken, the expectant mother should apply to the nearest health institution by wearing a mask. In this process, radiological imaging methods such as tomography may be required for the diagnosis of Covid-19. Radiological imaging can be performed by the relevant physician after taking the necessary precautions for the baby during this period. Therefore, it is recommended that the expectant mother consent to such tests for her own health. In case pregnant women catch coronavirus, the treatment and follow-up process is not applied differently than other individuals. During this period, the physician can perform the treatment of the person at home or in the hospital, depending on the general health status of the expectant mother.
Hibya News Agency