The mass hysteria brought on by COVID-19 finds many people hoarding food and medical supplies. In these times, I’m sure a lot of pregnant women are also afraid of what may happen to them and their unborn child—which is understandable considering that a woman’s immune system can sometimes weaken during pregnancy. There’s also some women who fear that they could possibly transmit the virus to the fetus.
A recent analysis by the World Health Organization shows that there are only eight percent of pregnant women who tested positive for COVID-19 who were in severe condition and only one percent was critically ill (out of 167 patients). According to Reuters, a recent study within the group of infected Wuhan women who are in their third trimester show no proof that the virus spreads to the uterus.
For nursing moms, there’s also a small possibility that their milk would carry the virus. A study by Chinese women published on The Lancet shows that the milk produced by nine pregnant COVID-19 carriers tested negative for the virus.
But this doesn’t mean we can be complacent—amid this global health crisis, it’s always best to be cautious. As of writing, there’s still a research gap in terms of the effects of COVID-19 on pregnant women and their babies. “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,” says Edward Morris, president of the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecologists.
Although they come from the same family as SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome)—both of which can cause birth defects—there is still no sufficient evidence that COVID-19 can do the same. As medical experts try to better understand this new strain of Coronavirus, we should be vigilant when it comes to the news we consume. Aside from the inconsistencies of the government’s COVID-19 protocols, ignorance can also cause great panic and possibly bring you more harm than the virus.