COVID-19 and Pregnancy

In this age of COVID-19, it is easy to be overwhelmed by all of the news reports and social media posts out there.  It is hard to tune out all the bad news we are given as well.   Recently, patients have been concerned about news reports of increased risks for miscarriage due to COVID-19. The reports refer to a recent article published in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA).  The article is a case study of a pregnant woman in Switzerland who tested positive for COVID-19 and unfortunately suffered a miscarriage at 19 weeks of pregnancy.  Testing attributed the loss to a placental infection with COVID-19.

This case is tragic, and we cannot disregard the experience of this patient.  It’s important to note, however, that it is a single case report, and does not indicate that every pregnancy is at risk for the same outcome. Because COVID-19 is a new virus, we are still learning about its effects in pregnancy. Despite the information presented in the JAMA article, the CDC advises that based on current information, pregnant women seem to carry the same risks for serious illness with COVID-19 as non-pregnant adults.

Even under normal circumstances, pregnancy and the postpartum period is a time of physical and emotional change.  Navigating these changes during a global pandemic is certainly challenging.  Your OB provider can help to explain information reported in the news, and hopefully give reassurance amid the uncertainty.  Above all, pregnant women should follow social distancing guidelines.  It is important to avoid people who are sick or have been exposed to the virus, clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily, and wash your hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer frequently.