COVID 19 is a new virus of the SARS group of viruses. It originated in Wuhan in December 2019. Any evidence we have is therefore very recent and our understanding is still evolving.
Unlike H1N1 and some flu viruses which severely affect pregnant women, the SARS group of viruses have not previously been found to do this.
Reports from China also suggest that pregnant women with COVID 19 do not represent a particularly at risk group.
COVID 19 has been reported in pregnant women, and there is Chinese data from 18 pregnancies where the women were hospitalised. None of these women died and none of their babies were infected with the virus.
The babies who were born prematurely were likely to have been delivered early because those women were unwell. The virus was not found in the breast milk.
This information would support the conclusion that whilst the virus can cause serious infection in all ages, with serious consequences, it does not appear to specifically affect pregnant women and it does not cross the placenta.
We do see reports in the media of pregnant women becoming ill and of their babies being affected, but these reports are difficult to verify because of patient confidentiality.
We continue to monitor the UK and global data as it emerges and will update this website information accordingly.
Currently, as advised by the government, as a precautionary measure, pregnant women should try to limit social contact where possible.
We recommend staying away from other peoples children and their parents. Avoid going out to crowded places. Try and adhere to the 2 metre rule and do not interact closely with others outside the family home. Consider working from home if this is possible. If this is not possible then attempt to stay distant from colleagues at work. Avoid unnecessary hospital appointments, particularly in crowded antenatal clinics. Regular 20 second hand washes particularly when going out and returning home, for the partner and kids too!
The next few months are going to pose some difficult challenges for everyone in healthcare and beyond.
Please be assured that maternity care is prioritised and we are working round the clock to provide back up cover to support childbirth and to ensure that you and your baby are safe.
If you would like to make an appointment to discuss a private delivery or private Caesarean, we encourage video or telephone consultations for antenatal visits where possible. Some appointments, requiring a scan, blood tests or examination, will still need to be face to face.
Please feel free to get in touch. Stay safe.
Pregnant woman are understandably concerned about how COVID 19 might affect their pregnancy and whether or not they are in a high risk group.