Coronavirus Kent: latest advice for pregnant women and new mothers as Covid-19 continues to spread
The latest coronavirus advice for pregnant women has been released by experts.
In online guidance called 'COVID-19 Virus Infection and Pregnancy', the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecoloists says it believes that pregnant women appear to be 'no more susceptible' than the general population.
Women who are pregnant can often be more vulnerable to infection than someone who is not carrying a baby because of ways in which pregnancy affects a woman's immune system.
But the organisation, whilst stressing that because this is a new virus it can't be clear how it will affect every pregnant person, says it nonetheless expects the majority of pregnant women to experience only mild to moderate cold and flu symptoms.
It goes on to say that there have been no coronavirus-related deaths reported in pregnant women and there is also no evidence to suggest an increase of miscarriage.
The information is likely to be of some comfort to those expecting a baby as pregnancy in some previous epidemics has been seen as making a patient high-risk.
In the 2009 outbreak of the H1N1 influenza A virus (also known as Swine Flu) pregnant women and their unborn babies were deemed to be at an extremely high risk of infection.
According to the NHS at the time, gathered data from 13 US states between mid-April and mid-May in 2009 showed that the rate of hospital admissions of pregnant women with flu was four times higher than among the general population.
But so far studies of coronavirus have not shown that pregnant women, as a general rule, are any more at risk.
The information also includes the same self-isolating advice being promoted through the NHS and a reminder that those who are pregnant can help protect themselves with regular hand washing.
It is likely, says the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecoloists, that routine antenatal appointments would be delayed for anyone in isolation until it ends whilst anyone who is pregnant and does catch coronavirus will be given an ultrasound scan once they have recovered as a precautionary approach to check that the baby is well.
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So far in the UK six people have died from the virus with 319 confirmed cases as of Monday, March 9. For the latest on the coronavirus outbreak in the county please click here.