Expecting and COVID-19

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Moms everywhere want to know how TO BEST ensure their baby’s safety during the pandemic. Here are some of the most common pregnancy and breastfeeding questions answered.

WHERE IS THE SAFEST PLACE TO HAVE MY BABY?

The safest place to deliver your baby is the hospital. Hospitals are continuing to implement safety precautions for moms, babies, family and clinical staff.

ARE PREGNANT WOMEN AT HIGHER RISK FOR COVID-19?

Current data says no. It does not appear that pregnant women are more likely to become infected or have more severe symptoms than non-pregnant adults, agrees Lorrie Harris-Sagaribay, MPH and Kirstie Perrotta, MPH, both affiliates of MotherToBe, a service of the nonprofit Organization of Teratology Information Specialists dedicated to providing evidence-based information to mothers, health care professionals and the general public about medications and other exposures during pregnancy and while breastfeeding.

IF I HAVE COVID-19 WHILE DELIVERING MY BABY, WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

The infant will be separated from you in order to decrease transmission to the infant. A health care team will speak with you in order to determine what is best for your family.

IF I CATCH THE CORONAVIRUS, WILL I GIVE IT TO MY UNBORN BABY?

Currently the risk of transmission to a baby in utero is minimal, if any. There is some concern for increased risk of preterm delivery, miscarriage and fetal growth restriction if the mother develops COVID-19 while pregnant.

CAN I BREASTFEED IF I AM POSITIVE FOR COVID-19?

Data is limited, but COVID-19 has not been found in breastmilk. Breastmilk is protective against multiple illnesses. Speak with your OB-GYN before starting or continuing to breastfeed.

SOURCES: TriHealth, MotherToBaby

NEW STUDY: COVID-19 in Pregnant or Breastfeeding Women

According to MotherToBaby.org, a new study conducted by birth defects research experts from the non-profit Organization of Teratology Information Specialists (OTIS) will examine the short and long-term effects of COVID-19 in pregnancy and breastfeeding. The study — which is seeking volunteers — will consist of phone calls over the course of each volunteers’ pregnancies and post-delivery, and/or breast milk samples. It also includes the release of medical records related to pregnancy and infant development. The study is open to pregnant and breastfeeding women in the U.S. and Canada with known or suspected COVID-19 infection.

Pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers can enroll in the study at mothertobaby.org/join-study or by calling the MotherToBaby Pregnancy Studies at 877-311-8972.

Amanda Hayward is editor of this publication. She is from Cincinnati, Ohio, a military wife and mom of two. If you don't see her writing for Cincinnati Family, you'll find her running, juggling kids, teaching group fitness classes and cooking up healthy recipes.

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