Bolzano – Young mothers-to-be have turned to the experts many times these days: What does it mean if you become infected with the new corona virus in this sensitive phase of life? How does the delivery work in such a case? Can the virus be transmitted to the child? Questions to which Martin Steinkasserer, Primary Gynecology and Obstetrics and Federica Verdi, Head of Prenatal Diagnostics and Pregnancy Pathologies at the Bolzano Hospital, can give a reassuring answer: “There is no need to worry.”
“All obstetrics in Italy are based on the protocol of the ‘Istituto Superiore di Sanità’, which already defined the standards to be observed at the beginning of the first Corona cases,” says Steinkasserer. The main message in it: pregnant women are no more at risk than other young people. “Pregnancy per se is not a risk, of course an infection, if it is accompanied by high fever or shortness of breath, must always be clarified by a doctor,” explains the primary. Then it would be necessary to prescribe antipyretic if necessary. As long as someone has no symptoms despite suspicion or even after verified evidence, according to Steinkasserer, no concern is appropriate. In this case, the same measures would apply as for non-pregnant women, according to the primary, that the patient is best looked after at home. If there are any doubts or questions, the gynecological departments could be reached around the clock by phone, most questions could be answered even without access to the hospital. It is also not true that pregnant women are at increased risk of contracting this virus.
So far, no evidence of vertical transmission
Even in the early stages of pregnancy, there is currently no evidence that coronavirus infection is harmful to mother or child. So far, there is no evidence worldwide that a so-called vertical transmission, i.e. from mother to child, is possible. “We recently gave birth to three women with Covid19, everyone is fine,” says Steinkasserer. The young mother, who had previous illnesses, who gave birth to a healthy boy last week through a caesarean section and who had to go to the intensive care unit for some time afterwards, is now feeling better and is recovering in the normal ward.
Investigations will continue
Also, no woman has to worry that due to the strict hospital regulations, she can no longer carry out examinations – “of course, all prenatal examinations and ultrasound examinations are carried out in all hospitals.”
If a mother-to-be is ill with Corona, the birth will still take place normally – but within the framework of the necessary safety precautions for the staff, a caesarean section is not normally necessary. As long as the patient is in good health, breastfeeding is not a problem, the women can nourish their children without worry, provided that appropriate hygiene measures are taken.
Use time at home to relax
For Primar Steinkasserer this message is important: “Many expectant mothers are unsettled and afraid – it is very important to me to tell them that like everyone else they should use the time to stay at home and relax even more than others. If examinations are pending, please take them – and should symptoms such as fever or shortness of breath occur, please contact the family doctor or the treating gynecologist. Otherwise, young mums can continue to look forward to their babies and not worry. ”