Many Coronavirus Risks Unknown for Expectant Moms and Babies

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – It’s a time of uncertainty for new or soon-to-be moms.

With a novel or new virus-like we’re seeing, not a lot is known.

Atrium Health OB/GYN Dr. Lorene Temming says early research out of China shows some promising news.

“For the most part, the babies are not affected by the virus in utero, we haven’t seen evidence of vertical transmission, or transmission from the mom,” Temming says.

However, doctors say pregnant women are at higher risk for respiratory issues.

“We know, based on our experience with other viruses like influenza and SARS, that pregnant women are more predisposed to more serious respiratory complications from the virus, so that’s why pregnant women are considered to be a little bit higher risk,” Temming says.

Some doctors also consider babies high risk, with more cases emerging, like the seven-month-old who tested positive for coronavirus in Kershaw County, SC.

“I think we all know that newborns have a slightly less well-functioning immune system, than obviously older kids,” Temming says.

Doctors say breastfeeding is OK, but if a mom who gives birth has coronavirus, she will be separated from her child and will have to use a breast pump.

“We do worry about close contact with a mom who’s sick increasing rates of transmission to the babies,” Temming says.