How does coronavirus affect pregnancy?

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COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Pregnant people are becoming more concerned as cases of COVID-19 grow, but doctors say they shouldn’t worry.

Julie Carpenter is eight months pregnant with her fourth child, and she has a few concerns as she enters her final month of pregnancy. 

“It’s been complicated and a stress over the last week,” explains Carpenter. “It’s something that keeps me up a night.”

Coronavirus is consuming everything right now, and it’s affecting all of our lives. Carpenter worries how it will affect her baby’s life before she’s even born. 

“It doesn’t seem to affect pregnant women any worse than anyone else. And that is an important thing, because when you look at other illnesses like the flu or SARS, they have attacked pregnant women harder because of changes in pregnancy,” says Dr. Michael Cackovic, from OSU Wexner Medical Center.

Cackovic says expectant mothers have a weaker immune system, so they should stay away from groups and people at all costs right now.

“Right now, coronavirus is not changing obstetrical guidelines, which is a good thing,” Cackovic says.

Cackovic has seen case reports from China, where COVID-19 originated, and says he would still encourage mothers to breastfeed because the virus has not been detected in breast milk.

Studies also showed that if the mother is infected, the baby will not get the virus after birth.

Aside from the many health worries any expectant mother has, Carpenter has a few other concerns. 

“My biggest concern is, will the hospital have room for me? Will I be a priority?” she wonders.

As a mom who has been through the process before, Carpenter has a message for all expectant parents trying to navigate through this crazy time in history.

”We are in this together, and there are a lot of us here,” she says.

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