Avoiding potential exposures to COVID-19 during pregnancy
Here is what pregnant women need to know about COVID-19, from the CDC.
- Although the overall risks are low, people who are pregnant or recently pregnant are at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 when compared to people who are not pregnant. People who have COVID-19 during pregnancy are also at increased risk for preterm birth (delivering the baby earlier than 37 weeks) and stillbirth and might be at increased risk for other pregnancy complications.
- Having certain underlying medical conditions, and other factors, including age, can further increase the risk for developing severe COVID-19 illness during or recently after pregnancy (for at least 42 days following end of pregnancy).
- People who are pregnant or recently pregnant and those who live with or visit them need to take steps to protect themselves from getting sick with COVID-19, including getting vaccinated and wearing a mask.
Pregnant patients should follow CDC guidelines on mask wearing, social distancing of at least 6 feet, and frequent hand washing. COVID-19 may be spread through airborne transmission at distances greater than 6 feet, especially in poorly ventilated areas, so crowded areas should be avoided as much as possible. If you must run errands or go to public places, try to take your trips early in the morning or late at night when stores and shops are less likely to be crowded.
Self-quarantine is not specifically recommended in the weeks leading up to your delivery date, but it is important to know that contracting COVID-19 near the end of your pregnancy may make your labor and delivery experience more complicated. It is important to minimize your potential exposures during pregnancy, especially near the late third trimester. Due to widespread community transmission in most areas, it is almost impossible to eliminate any chance of contracting the virus but being mindful about high-risk activities can lower your exposure risk.
Read the latest CDC guidelines for COVID-19.