Pregnant & Black During COVID-19? Should You Be Worried?
With all the talk about the Coronavirus COVID-19, experts and people alike are trying to figure out which groups are more susceptible to the disease: the elderly? People of Asian descent? African Americans? And one group that is particularly getting a lot of attention is pregnant women. If you are pregnant and are surrounded by the coronavirus, should you be worried?
Pregnant women do not appear to be more susceptible to severe Covid-19 symptoms and there is no evidence that the virus can pass to a baby during pregnancy, according to new guidance.
The guidelines, issued by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Royal College of Midwives and Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, offer reassurance to pregnant women in the UK who until now have not been given any specific details on whether they or their baby are at greater risk.
Pregnant women have altered immune systems, which can leave them at a higher risk for severe complications if exposed to viruses like the flu. Some respiratory illnesses can also cause critical illness in very young babies. However, based on available data, neither of these patterns have been seen with Covid-19.
Edward Morris, president of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said: “As this is a very new virus we are just beginning to learn about it, so the guidance will be kept under regular review as new evidence emerges.
“Over the coming weeks and months it is likely pregnant women in the UK will test positive for coronavirus. While the data is currently limited it is reassuring that there is no evidence that the virus can pass to a baby during pregnancy.”
Among the research analyzed, experts included a World Health Organization report based in China that looked at 147 pregnant women. It found only 8 percent had severe symptoms and only 1 percent became critically ill.
On March 17, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) issued strongly worded recommendations that included not starting any new cycles of assisted ovulation, intrauterine inseminations (IUIs), in vitro fertilization (IVF), or “non-urgent” egg freezing. They also told clinicians to “strongly consider cancellation of all embryo transfers, whether fresh or frozen.”
During this season, prenatal appointments seem to now being conducted via telemedicine as much as possible.
But these new practices don’t have to “negatively” affect your care. For example, many patients are being prescribed at-home blood pressure monitors, which reduce the need for in-person visits.
When it comes to coronavirus, the large majority of women, it seems, experienced only mild or moderate symptoms. Yet even though there is one reported case of a pregnant woman who