Feels like you just recieved a good news and another reason to worry about at the same time? Don’t let the headlines about coronavirus steal your joy. The information available about the disease so far is thin but we understand that as a new mother you’re on the edge about your baby’s safety. 

Pregnant women are often susceptible to respiratory infections due to weaker immune system. However, don’t panic as you already have a lot on your plate. 

What does the research say?

The COVID-19 virus which was first detected in Chinese city of Wuhan is becoming a global problem now. Unfortunately, there is limited information available on how this virus is specifically affecting pregnant women. So far the numbers seem to be similar to how it is infecting every other citizen. 

According to a World Health Organisation investigation, 147 pregnant women were infected. Out of 147, 64 were confirmed to have coronavirus disease and 82 were suspected and 1 did not show any symptoms.  

What happens to the baby if a pregnant woman is infected?

As per a Lancet study published in February 2020, nine pregnant women were admitted to the Zhongman Hospital of Wuhan University in China. Seven of them had fever, four had a cough, three had muscle pain, two had a sore throat. None of them developed severe coronavirus pneumonia or died. 

Four mothers birthed their babies early. The babies were born relatively healthy. However, it is not confirmed if early birth was a result of the illness. 

Another three women who were diagnosed with the disease birthed their babies without major complications in Tongji Hospital of Wuhan.  

Additionally, the virus has not been detected in breastmilk. 

An additional research published in JAMA examined 89 babies between one month to eleven months being infected by living with the individual who had the virus. None of the babies who had fever and respiratory infections needed intensive care as none of them had severe symptoms.     

How do you protect your baby if you are infected with coronavirus?

The good news is, there haven’t been any cases where the virus transmitted through breast milk. Forms of antibodies that can protect against coronavirus have been found in breast milk. The mothers’ bodies are forming the antibodies and passing it on to their babies but not the virus. 

In order to prevent their infant, mothers must take the suggested precautions including washing hands before touching the infant and wearing the clean mask. They must make sure to wash the breast pump and the parts of the bottle properly. 

To conclude, coronavirus is worth taking precautions for but it is not worth overthinking and over-worrying. Get in touch with your doctor if the stress of the virus is leading you to worry and is affecting your health. Keep yourself calm.

If you experience fever, cough or shortness of breath, consult your health care official immediately but do not panic.

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