Q: I’m pregnant. Am I at greater risk of coronavirus?
*Updated with new CDC guidance as of 6/24/20
New information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that pregnant patients may be at increased risk for certain manifestations of severe illness due to COVID-19, such as intensive care unit admission and mechanical ventilation. The available data also suggests that the overall risk of these clinical interventions remains low, and that pregnant patients do not appear to be at increased risk of death associated with COVID-19 compared with non-pregnant patients in the same age group.
First and foremost, pregnant women should follow any stay-at-home guidelines. Avoid going out into the community if you don’t have to. Stay home, and have a family member run errands, or use a delivery service if it’s available. Wash your hands frequently, and wear a mask if you do go in public. Talk with your doctor about their office policies. While you will still need to come into the doctor’s office for some tests and appointments, some consultations might be moved to online appointments or telemedicine.
We are also strongly advising that pregnant women stop going to work and stay home starting at 36-37 weeks, to reduce your risk of being exposed to coronavirus before coming into the hospital for delivery. This will protect you and your baby, as well as hospital staff and the other women who are giving birth.
Finally, as much as you might want to celebrate, we recommend that you not bring family and friends into your house to meet the baby after it is born. For now, the safest way for baby to meet grandparents, aunts, and uncles, is from a distance or over video chat like FaceTime or Zoom.
If you have concerns about your health or your baby’s health during the coronavirus pandemic, talk with your doctor about what you should be doing to stay safe.
Dr. Stacy Ammerman
OB/GYN, Maui Lani Physicians & Surgeons