COVID-19, fetal health, and development: Your questions answered

The coronavirus pandemic has left us all with a lot of questions. Here, the Ovia Health clinical team answers your questions about COVID-19, fetal health, and development.

If I am pregnant and have COVID-19, will my baby develop normally?

While there are minimal data and research is ongoing, most pregnant women who have given birth while infected with the coronavirus have had normal deliveries and healthy babies. Only in very few reported cases, where the mother has been hospitalized and was intubated with severe COVID-19-related pneumonia, did adverse outcomes such as stillbirth, preterm delivery, or NICU admission occur. In all of these cases, infants were not directly infected with the coronavirus and complications were a result of severe maternal illness. [1

If I get COVID-19, will I pass it to my fetus?

There are a few scientific reports suggesting that COVID-19 crosses the placenta and can infect your fetus [2], although there is more evidence to suggest that COVID-19 is not transmitted from mother to fetus. Still, there is very little published research [3] on this topic. Other similar viruses (influenza, SARS) do not infect the fetus during pregnancy, so at this point, we are feeling reassured that this form of transmission is not a major concern. There is no evidence that cesarean delivery reduces the risk of infection, so this is not recommended as a means of reducing COVID-19 transmission.

Learn more about the coronavirus

Updated December 4, 2020 

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