Expecting Mothers and COVID

Aditi Chakraborty

Coronavirus has not only taken over everyone’s daily lives but has also drastically changed pregnancy. Many mothers are expecting and with COVID on a rampage, there seems to be no guarantee of safety for their babies. The CDC has designed guidelines just for pregnancy and how to ensure safety at the time of a health crisis. The CDC states that mother to child transmission is unlikely but there are still risks after birth that babies could be exposed to COVID. Nothing can stop babies from being born into a pandemic. Though everyone is suffering there is not much to do but support expecting parents and be as vigilant as possible. Many say we should ramp up testing and procedures for pregnant women as five of the seven women who tested positive for COVID-19 were not showing any symptoms. Sophomore Kylie Sherman said “I never thought about pregnancy and how COVID may be affecting it but the issue is very real. Giving birth to your baby during a pandemic must be really stressful especially for mothers who are infected with COVID”. 

There is still hope as not many COVID cases have been reported for babies. Some mothers have had to give birth alone. As our healthcare system is stretched each day there are more and more soon-to-parents worrying about their baby’s future. Our situation is quite dire but even in such dire situations mothers can hold their babies and give them all the love as they bring them into a world where problems stack up higher than the sky. According to JAMA COVID can spread from mother-to-child through vertical transmission. Vertical transmission is when a pathogen is passed from the mother to the baby immediately before or after birth. This can be through the placenta, breast milk, or contact after birth. The CDC reports that there have been some preterm births among women who had COVID but they do not know if COVID was the cause. There have been many questions about whether mothers can breastfeed if they are infected with COVID and doctors say that the virus has not been found in breastmilk so far. There have been many concerns about safety during this pandemic. The health care workers, emergency responders, small businesses, airlines, and expecting parents are all collateral damage to this disease. We all have to do everything we can to protect each other and everyone else around us. We can overcome this and hope for the best for all the people struggling to cope with this pandemic.