Giving Compass’ Take:
• Justin Brandt answers questions regarding the risks for pregnant women and their unborn babies during coronavirus.
• How can pregnant women receive extra support and care during this time? What support systems are in place for them?
• Read more on what donors can do about coronavirus.
Here, Justin Brandt, an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology in the division of maternal-fetal medicine at Rutgers University Robert Wood Medical School, discusses some common questions regarding pregnancy and the coronavirus:
Are pregnant women more at risk if they contract COVID-19?
Although preliminary data about COVID-19 and pregnancy was reassuring, we have seen reports in the US of some pregnant women having severe illnesses.
Pregnant women experience physiologic changes in their chests that may make them more susceptible to viral respiratory infections. Based on our growing clinical experience with COVID-19 and our prior experience with SARS and MERS, which are also coronaviruses, women with COVID-19 might be at greater risk for pregnancy complications.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the National Health Service from Great Britain are concerned that women might be more prone to miscarriage, preterm birth, and fetal growth restriction if they have COVID-19.
What impact could COVID-19 have on unborn babies?
The clinical picture is changing rapidly. Most reports have suggested that the risk of vertical transmission is low. This means it is unlikely that the virus is transmitted from an infected mother to her fetus.
However, it was recently reported that some newborns of mothers with COVID-19 have virus specific antibodies. These antibodies, which are IGM subtype, are not usually transferred across the placenta from mother to fetus due to their large molecular size.
This new data has some significant weaknesses, but this finding suggests that antibodies were produced by some babies who were exposed to the novel coronavirus in utero.
We need more data to clarify and corroborate this risk, but there may be reason to worry about vertical transmission and associated conditions, including birth defects, early neonatal disease, and other complications.
Read the full article about pregnancy during COVID-19 by Patti Verbanas at Futurity.
If you are looking for more articles and resources for Coronavirus, take a look at these Giving Compass selections related to impact giving and Coronavirus.
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