Changes to the immune system during pregnancy mean pregnant women are often considered to be at higher than average risk from infections.
“But again, there’s not really good evidence, as far as I can see, that pregnant women are at higher risk than women the same age,” Professor Collignon said.
According to the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists:
- Pregnant women don’t seem to become more severely unwell from COVID-19 than the general population
- Infection doesn’t seem to increase the risk of miscarriage
- There is no evidence the virus can pass from pregnant mother to baby
- There is no evidence the virus will cause abnormalities in an unborn baby
- Caesarean section or induction of labour does not seem necessary to reduce the risk of transmission from mother to child
- Some babies born to women with symptoms of COVID-19 in China were born prematurely, but it’s unclear whether this was due to the virus or doctors’ decisions
- Newborn babies and infants don’t seem to be at increased risk of complications
- COVID-19 does not seem to pass from mother to child through breastmilk, so breastfeeding is still encouraged, although women with the virus should be extra careful with hygiene and consider wearing a face mask while feeding.
Professor Collignon urged people to follow the public health advice around social distancing, cleanliness and staying away from sick people.