What pregnant women need to know about coronavirus COVID-19

COVID-19 is adding to the pile of worries facing parents-to-be.

Dr. Sharon McCloskey with Greater Houston OB/GYN has been getting a lot of questions from her patients.

"We shouldn’t alter or lives because of this we just need to be cautious and aware," said McCloskey.

So far, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have mainly found COVID19 poses the greatest risk for the elderly and those with chronic medical conditions.

However, McCloskey wants to remind you children and pregnant women are generally part of the groups most susceptible to viral respiratory infections.

"Mostly because of the immune system were a little bit worried about our pregnant patients but the same restrictions and cautions apply to all people including pregnant women," she added.

The CDC warns information on COVID-19 in pregnancy is very limited.

It is currently unknown if the virus can increase the risk for pregnancy loss. However, in general, high fevers during the first trimester can increase the risk of certain birth defects.

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As for passing the virus to the fetus or newborn, McCloskey says at this point there is no evidence that can happen.

"It’s a respiratory illness and it’s passed through those respiratory droplets. So, not through pregnancy through in utero," McCloskey explained. "Only an active illness at the time of delivery and after the newborn was exposed."

So far, there’s also no evidence of the virus in breastmilk.

"We’ve been through different cases of viral outbreaks and I think we don’t need to be overly paranoid. Women becoming pregnant -- it’s an exciting time. We should just follow our normal guidelines of being safe and clean and hand washing and avoiding sick contacts," she concluded.

McCloskey does recommend calling your doctor’s office ahead of an appointment time to let them know you are sick so they can take you into another room immediately and reduce the exposure to other patients.

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