COVID-19 and pregnancy: disease prevention recommendations

NUR-SULTAN. KAZINFORM Dinara Mirzakhmetova, chairwoman of the board of directors at the Research Center of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Perinatology JSC, top qualification grade obstetrics and gynecology doctor told Kazinform about how dangerous is COVID -19 for pregnant women and other issues.

How dangerous is COVID-19 for a pregnant woman and her baby? What are the consequences if the pregnant woman develops disease?

It depends on duration of gestation and underlying extragenital disease. Pregnant women suffering from chronic diseases of lung, liver or kidney, asthma, cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, diabetes, cancer diseases are at high risk of developing severe COVID-19 symptoms leading to miscarriage, respiratory distress symptom, premature birth, and perinatal consequences. All the pregnant infected with coronavirus infection should stay under doctor’s observation and included into the most-at-risk group.

Could a woman pass coronavirus to her baby during pregnancy?

As the latest data, cross-country study and practice show a woman cannot transmit COVID-19 as well as antibodies to her baby during pregnancy.

What the pregnant woman should do if she has contracted coronavirus?

Obstetric management is determined by the pregnant women’s condition, fetal condition and period of gestation. Pregnant women with mild COVID-19 symptoms usually recover and carry pregnancy to term. The pregnancy of women having moderate or severe disease symptoms until 12th week of gestation may be terminated due to high risk of perinatal complications as soon the women recover.

The WHO recommends that mothers breastfeed even if they have coronavirus. What do you think?

Mother and infant should be enabled to remain together. All depends on the condition of the mother and her baby. If they are in severe condition they should stay separately to undergo treatment.

Women are ordered to pass PCR tests since 37-38th week of pregnancy. Could they pass tests at maternity hospitals?

Pregnant woman should once pass the PCR test in the full-term pregnancy. If thw woman arrives earlier to the maternity home and has no time to pass PCR test, for example, labours, the water broke she would be under all circumstances admitted to the hospital. She will pass express test to show negative or positive result and admitted either to provisional or obstetric unit.

What are the guidelines to avoid COVID-19?

If pregnant women have any COVID-19 symptoms they should seek medical care. The main symptoms are fever, fatigue, dry cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, muscle or body aches, headache, loss of taste or smell, sore throat. They should be constantly monitored by doctors.

Wash your hands with soap, avoid crowded places, places of public gatherings, public transport, social contacts. Keep social distancing, wear masks.

Thank you for the interview.

By Azamat Syzdykbayev