March 2020

COVID in Pregnancy


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mackenzie g. -

Can you comment on healthcare workers in the third trimester? We are obviously suggesting that pregnant women perform social distancing and isolation when able and working very hard to perform tele-visits but we are still having pregnant healthcare workers take care of COVID patients.
Interestingly, in the very small studies that everyone is referring to, the 9 babies were all delivered via c-section (either due to maternal concerns or to decrease risk of potential vertical transmission) and in the study with 4 patients all of those babies were immediately taken from the mother and isolated and fed formula. So despite the babies and moms doing OK but why would we allow late term pregnant women to risk exposure when it may force them to isolation from their newborn, taking away the opportunity to breast feed, and potentially to c-section?

Penny W. -

From my perspective the biggest risk to contracting COVID in third trimester is the risk of fetal distress and pre-term delivery as we have seen higher rates of those complications in the third trimester. But yes, the risk of disruption of the maternal-newborn dyad after delivery is also a "complication" that is worth avoiding. I certainly think reducing exposure of pregnant health care workers would be ideal, in the same way that reducing exposure risk for older clinicians would be ideal. I'm advising my patients to take leave if they can. But, pragmatically I guess it depends on local heathcare service needs and their own appetite for risk vs providing service.

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