Pregnancy amid COVID-19: Doctors report surprising, promising findings

Because the coronavirus is so new, there are not a lot of answers. But, one surprising finding so far is that pregnant women who get the virus do not seem to be getting any sicker than women who are not pregnant.

Baby Hazel was born into a world where everything has changed - even how she was welcomed in the hospital to her new life.

“We could have zero visitors, for a while we were praying that my husband could be there,” said new mother Morgan Hylarides. “It’s been really hard.”

It’s all part of the new pandemic world of questions facing expecting families.

“With this virus, pregnant women are doing pretty well; babies are doing remarkably well,” said Mayo Clinic obstetrician, Dr. Regan Theiler.

Viruses tend to hit pregnant women much harder than women who are not pregnant. But, in this case, the Mayo Clinic says pregnant women contracting COVID-19 do not appear to get any sicker, and there is limited research on whether a mother can pass the virus to the baby.

“We do have a few case reports coming out of China, one out of Peru suggesting that there may be transmission from mother to baby either in utero or in the birth process, but it hasn’t been systematically investigated,” Dr. Theiler said. 

But for now, breast feeding appears safe.

“We do have some pretty convincing evidence from other countries that the virus is not detected in breast milk even though mothers are actively infected with the virus. So, that’s great news in terms of breast feeding.”

Meanwhile, the virus and technology have created a new world, with televisits for parents and telemedicine for obstetricians.

“We feel like we are able to reassure these moms remotely, answer their questions and really take care of them in innovative ways that may stay with us after this pandemic is gone,” Dr. Theiler said.

The doctor says the telemedicine capabilities such as the remote monitoring of moms didn’t exist five to 10 years ago. They’re really relying on it now, and in some ways that will become part of the future.