Coronavirus (COVID-19) - further information

General advice

As a pregnant woman, the news that you were placed in a 'vulnerable group' by the Chief Medical Officer on Monday 16 March 2020 may have caused you concern.

We would like to reiterate that the evidence we have so far is that pregnant women are still no more likely to contract the infection than the general population.

What we do know is that pregnancy, in a small proportion of women, can alter how your body handles severe viral infections.

This is something that midwives and obstetricians have known for many years and are used to dealing with.

What has driven the decisions made by officials is the need to restrict spread of illness because if the number of infections were to rise sharply, the number of severely infected women could rise and this could put the lives of pregnant women in the third trimester in danger.

Our general advice is that:

  • If you are infected with COVID-19 you are still most likely to have no symptoms or a mild illness from which you will make a full recovery.
  • If you develop more severe symptoms or your recovery is delayed, this may be a sign that you are developing a more significant chest infection that requires enhanced care.

Our advice remains that if you feel your symptoms are worsening, or if you are not getting better, you should contact your maternity care team, NHS 111 or a local alternative straight away for further information and advice.

Advice regarding social distancing and self-isolation

The UK Chief Medical Officer has decided that, given the limited information currently available about how COVID-19 could affect pregnancy, it would be prudent for pregnant women to increase their social distancing to reduce the risk of infection.

All pregnant women, regardless of gestation, should observe the social distancing guidance available on the Government website. Advice includes the avoidance of contact with people who are known to have COVID-19 or those who exhibit possible symptoms: 

Women above 28 weeks' gestation should be particularly attentive to social distancing and minimising contact with others. 

Major new measures have been announced for people at highest risk from Coronavirus.

This includes pregnant women with significant heart disease (congenital or acquired) - please see https://www.gov.uk/government/news/major-new-measures-to-protect-people-at-highest-risk-from-coronavirus

Specific recommendations for pregnant workers and their employers have been issued separately - please see https://www.rcog.org.uk/globalassets/documents/guidelines/2020-03-26-covid19-occupational-health.pdf

Further information

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