UK Guidance on COVID-19 Infection in Pregnancy

Dawn O'Shea

March 09, 2020

Guidance has been published on the management of COVID-19 in pregnancy. The advice has been developed by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), the Royal College of Midwives and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, with input from the Royal College of Anaesthetists, Public Health England and Health Protection Scotland.

The guidance states:

  • Pregnant women do not appear to be more susceptible to the consequences of coronavirus than the general population and there is no evidence that the virus can pass to a baby during pregnancy

  • As a precautionary approach, pregnant women with suspected or confirmed coronavirus when they go into labour are being advised to attend an obstetric unit for birth but their birth plan should be followed as closely as possible

  • At the moment there is no evidence that the virus can be carried in breast milk, so it is felt the benefits of breastfeeding outweigh any potential risks of transmission of coronavirus through breast milk

The guidance covers the most up-to-date advice on how coronavirus affects pregnant women and their unborn babies, how labour and birth should be managed in women with suspected or confirmed coronavirus, as well as information on neonatal care and infant feeding.

Guidance Being Kept Under Review

RCOG President, Dr Edward Morris, said in a news release: "This guidance has been written to ensure maternity units across the country are providing consistent and safe care to pregnant women with suspected or confirmed coronavirus infection, and that every effort is taken to minimise the potential spread of the infection to medical staff or other patients. As this is a very new virus we are just beginning to learn about it, so the guidance will be kept under regular review as new evidence emerges.

"Over the coming weeks and months it is likely pregnant women in the UK will test positive for coronavirus. While the data is currently limited it is reassuring that there is no evidence that the virus can pass to a baby during pregnancy."

Adapted from Univadis from Medscape. Find the latest COVID-19 news in Medscape's Coronavirus Resource Centre.    

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