Medically reviewed by Dr. Rabeya Afroz Shomi
What if you get coronavirus?
When you’re pregnant, you may have all kinds of questions and worries. But “What if I get coronavirus?” probably wasn’t one of them.
Doctors and scientists are still learning how the virus affects everyone, including expectant mothers and their unborn babies. Here’s what they know -- and don’t know -- so far.
Should I take any extra steps to protect myself besides the ones the CDC and state and local government recommend for everyone?
So far, there’s no evidence that pregnancy makes you any more likely to get coronavirus. Still, it’s a serious threat to everyone. You should take all the recommended steps to prevent getting sick. Those include washing your hands often, not touching your face, staying 6 feet away from other people, and avoiding groups. That includes baby showers and visitors after the baby arrives.
Does pregnancy make me more likely to have a severe case if I’m infected with coronavirus?
Based on the limited number of cases, experts so far don’t believe that the virus affects pregnant women more seriously. That’s different from other viruses such as SARS, which does affect pregnant women more severely.
If I have the coronavirus, how do I keep myself and my baby as safe as possible?
There aren’t any treatments for COVID-19, the illness caused by the new coronavirus. If you think you have symptoms, call your doctor. They may recommend that you take acetaminophen to keep your fever down, rest, and drink lots of fluids. You’re not likely to need to go to the hospital. Keep a check on your symptoms and call your doctor if they get worse. You must also call your doctor right away if you have trouble breathing.
If I get coronavirus before I deliver, can it hurt my baby?
There’s no evidence so far that coronavirus itself can lead to birth defects, miscarriage, or any other problems. But a fever in early pregnancy, from COVID-19 or any other cause, can raise the risk for birth defects. And severe lung illnesses late in your pregnancy can make you more likely to deliver your baby prematurely. Some babies born to mothers who had coronavirus were born preterm. But it’s not clear if the virus was to blame.