We sincerely hope you all are staying safe during these unprecedented times. In our efforts to keep you all aware of topics related to pregnancy in the midst of ongoing concerns due to COVID-19, we’ve assembled this page of frequently asked questions, with important answers and updates from reliable sources.
There is no current evidence that suggests pregnant women, baby and placenta are at increased risk of contracting coronavirus or experiencing more severe symptoms than others.
However, pregnant women have been known to be more susceptible to other viral respiratory illnesses, such as influenza. With that in mind, maintaining appropriate precautionary measures, including social distancing, proper handwashing and hygiene, and wearing a facemask when going into public, is still recommended.
Some early reports suggested that it is impossible to transmit COVID-19 to a baby in utero, but one study from China suggested that this transmission was possible.
The Centers for Disease Control have reviewed all available information on this topic and determined that transmission to your baby during pregnancy is unlikely. A very small number of babies have tested positive for coronavirus after birth, but it has not been determined if the virus was transmitted during pregnancy, or if they acquired it at some point during delivery or afterward. The virus has not been detected in amniotic fluid.
Passing coronavirus to a newborn during delivery is a common concern for expecting families, but modern delivery practices are already designed to help minimize the risk of transmitting infections during delivery. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends consulting with your OB/GYN if you become ill, but states that timing of delivery and delivery method should not typically need to be adjusted.
If you do become ill however, there may be some changes to your delivery plan. Contact your doctor about potential restrictions at the hospital, such as the number of visitors permitted to visit you and your baby. Some hospitals have also raised the possibility of preventing partners from entering the delivery room and remaining there during delivery. If there are new restrictions put in place, it may make sense to contact family members and friends now to provide them with an update, instead of trying to communicate during the day of your delivery.
In the event that you become ill, your hospital may recommend caring for your newborn in a separate room, but you should still be able to breastfeed. Talk to your doctor and any members of your family who are part of your childcare plan about alternative plans.
Newborns and small children are not at higher risk than other populations.
This does not mean that infants and children cannot become ill from COVID-19, and thorough preventative measures should still be taken to protect them. Consider that children may need additional assistance with certain protective measures, such as properly putting on a mask and thorough handwashing technique.
Even if you contract the coronavirus, breastfeeding can still be safe and beneficial for your newborn. No studies have found the virus in breast milk, and breast milk provides nutrition and helps your baby develop a strong immune system, so it is still recommended if you are healthy enough to proceed. Read more info on how to prepare for a baby in our blog section.
If you do contract coronavirus and wish to breastfeed your newborn, it is important to maintain proper protective practices during feeding. Wear a mask and wash your hands thoroughly before touching your baby. If you are pumping breast milk, be sure to properly clean your breast pump. With these precautions, the risk of passing the virus to your newborn can be minimized, so you can focus on how to prepare for a baby bonding and providing them with the nutrition they need to thrive.
Many expecting families have included cord blood banking as part of their birth plan, but you may now be asking yourself if this is still safe in the midst of coronavirus concerns. We have been closely monitoring the situation, as the health of our clients is our number one priority.
According to the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine, there is no evidence of COVID-19 in the amniotic fluid or umbilical cord blood of pregnant women who have contracted the virus. This means the cord blood can still be safely banked.
We always take potential contamination of stem cells seriously. We have always utilized the highest processing and storage standards in the industry to prevent any contamination of stem cells that are to be stored and continue to provide this to our clients.
We understand that this is a stressful time for growing families and will continue to add updates to this page as a resource. We encourage you to contact your doctors with any questions you may have and to take your health, including any signs or symptoms of illness, seriously.
The above represents an aggregation of the latest medical opinions, which are not endorsed by Americord. As the pandemic evolves, new research will undoubtedly be developed; we will do our best to update as often as possible as more information becomes available.