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Will COVID-19 affect my pregnancy or baby?

February 10, 2021

 

During this COVID-19 pandemic, many couples who are planning for parenthood are worried about the risk of contracting COVID-19 and its possible impact on pregnancy.

 

Recently, a guide published by the Academy of Medicine Singapore, College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists Singapore, and Obstetrical and Gynaecological Society of Singapore answers common questions about COVID-19 and pregnancy.

 

Here are some key points from the publication:

What happens if I become infected by COVID-19 during pregnancy? How will my baby be affected?

 

You wouldl be admitted to hospital for close monitoring of your and your baby’s health. A multidisciplinary team of specialists including obstetricians, neonatologists, and respiratory physicians will be involved in your care, and prompt treatment will be readily available if the need arises. In some situations, if the mother becomes very ill, doctors may recommend for the baby to be delivered.

 

There is no evidence of increased risk of stillbirth, neonatal death, or babies developing abnormalities, according to a systematic review of more than 11,000 pregnant women with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 infection. There is still insufficient information about the risk of miscarriage or foetal growth restriction.

 

In Singapore, pregnant women who had COVID-19 infection recovered fully and continued with their pregnancies uneventfully. However, pregnant women who are older, obese, or have medical conditions like diabetes and hypertension are at greater risk of complications. A small proportion may require oxygen supplementation and ICU care.

 

Can the virus be passed from the mother to the unborn baby?

 

Studies worldwide have shown the risk of the virus passing from mother to baby in the womb or upon birth to be low, and most infected babies recover well. In Singapore, none of the babies born to mothers with COVID-19 infection developed the infection themselves, and they have been reported to be in good condition.

 

Furthermore, based on existing evidence, babies do not seem to have increased risk for contracting COVID-19 infection. There is no active virus in breast milk, hence COVID-19 positive mothers can continue with breastfeeding, with precautions such as wearing a mask and practising good personal hygiene.

 

 

You can access the full report at the Academy of Medicine Singapore website (link: view-pdf.aspx (ams.edu.sg)

 

If you are pregnant or a new mother, and anxious about the health of your baby during this period, do not hesitate to speak to our doctors.

 

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