What pregnant women should know about the coronavirus
Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that circulate in both humans and animals and can cause everything from the common cold to more serious respiratory illnesses.
In the few studies that have been done on breastfeeding women with the coronavirus, the answer appears to be no. But experts caution that more research needs to be done before they can definitively say there’s no risk.
If you do decide to breastfeed, you can help limit your baby’s exposure to the virus by:
Wearing a face mask
- Washing your hands thoroughly before touching your baby; be sure to get under your nails and into the webbing of your fingers
- Washing your hands thoroughly before handling a breast pump or bottle
- Considering having someone who is well give the baby a bottle of expressed breast milk
Treatment for COVID-19 is like to the treatment of other respiratory illnesses. Whether you’re pregnant or not, doctors’ advice:
- taking acetaminophen (Tylenol) for a fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher
- staying well hydrated with water or low-sugar drinks
Can the virus pass to my baby during pregnancy or childbirth?
Judging from the women who have given birth while infected with this coronavirus, the answer is probably no — or more exactly, there’s no strong evidence that it does. There are one or two known cases where a new born tested positive for the virus but no evidence that they got it while in the womb.
COVID-19 is a disease that’s mostly passed from person to person through droplets (think the coughs and sneezes of infected people). Your baby can only be exposed to such droplets after birth.