The Impact of Coronavirus on Pregnancies and What can be Done about it?
June 04, 2020 | Farah Jassawalla

The Impact of Coronavirus on Pregnancies and What can be Done about it?

اردو میں پڑھیں 

It is naturally alarming if someone is pregnant and contracts the coronavirus. However, it is vital to wrap your head around the impact of the virus on your body if you are pregnant and afflicted by the coronavirus. Research has shown that pregnant women do not have a significant difference in how they experience the symptoms of coronavirus. Researchers expect that most pregnant women will experience only mild symptoms of the coronavirus, 

 During pregnancy

The more severe coronavirus symptoms such as pneumonia are more common for people who are either old, have a weak immune system, or are battling with long-term/chronic illnesses. There is no evidence yet that suggests pregnant women will be affected by coronavirus differently. There is no reason, thus far, to believe that it may lead to miscarriages or any other complications that could cause abortion of pregnancy. However, it should be noted that symptoms of the coronavirus, such as a fever, may raise chances of birth defects. This may be caused by COVID-19 or any other cause. Similarly, contracting any severe lung illnesses during pregnancy may lead to the delivery of the baby prematurely. There have been cases where women who had the coronavirus have delivered babies prematurely. However, there is no solid link between the virus and the preterm delivery – since the rate of premature delivery in women with and without COVID-19 is the same.


There have, however, been cases of newborn babies who have tested positive for coronavirus. However, this also does not necessarily mean that it is a case of prenatal transmission. Instead of the baby contracting the virus from their mothers in the womb, it is more likely that they contract it through respiratory droplets from patients, be it their mothers or caregivers. Moreover, this raises the question of pregnant women who have tested positive for the coronavirus breastfeeding their baby. Researchers have collected samples of breast milk from COVID-19 affected women, and most samples of breast milk showed no traces of the virus. Although this means that breastfeeding may be safe, it does not protect the babies from the droplets that might be discharged if the woman sneezes or coughs while feeding. Therefore, the best way to feed a baby might be by pumping or through someone who is not infected by the virus. If you must feed the baby yourself, precautions must be taken, such as washing hands and wearing a face mask before breastfeeding.

 General advice

There is not much that needs to be done differently in terms of precautions from the virus itself. It is strictly advised that social distancing is practiced, face masks are worn, and that hands are washed regularly. However, there is experimental advice regarding the delivery of the baby. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has recommended isolation and close monitoring of babies that are born to women who have the virus. With the infants, a face shield should not be used because there are risks of suffocation, strangulation, or difficulty breathing that can prove fatal. Similarly, the precautions for baby care and sleeping arrangements remain the same with the added precaution of social distancing. 


At this moment, much still remains unknown about coronavirus and its impact on pregnancy and the resulting offspring, but research so far has shown that COVID-19 is unlikely to have a significant effect on pregnancies and the delivery or development of a baby. Regardless, the precautions mentioned in this article should be taken and adhered to. Moreover, if you are pregnant, it is important you continually and regularly get tested for different diseases, including coronavirus.

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Farah Jassawalla

Farah Jassawalla is a graduate of the Lahore School of Economics. She is also a writer, and healthcare enthusiast, having closely observed case studies while working with Lahore's thriving general physicians at their clinics.