- Why am I more vulnerable during pregnancy?
During the 3rd trimester of pregnancy, certain physiological upheavals in the body and in the immune system of the pregnant woman would make her more vulnerable. For example, the growing uterus presses on the diaphragm. This pressure reduces his breathing capacity. But beware, some women are at risk of developing a severe form throughout their pregnancy. This is the case for obese patients, those who suffer from hypertension, diabetes or who are over 35 years old.
- I caught the Covid during my pregnancy, what are the risks?
Pregnant women who develop a severe form of COVID more often need intensive care than other women, according to an article published in the British Medical Journal in early September.
Other studies also show that infected patients are more likely to give birth prematurely and have to have a cesarean section. They more often suffer from preeclampsia, a form of high blood pressure specific to pregnancy. Finally, they also have postpartum complications, such as fever or low oxygen in the blood.
- Can I pass the virus on to my baby?
There is indeed a risk of transmission. A study published in July in Nature Communications describes the first case in France of transmission of Covid-19 from a 23-year-old pregnant woman to her baby. The child showed neurological symptoms of the disease from birth. Transmission was through the placenta. But, in most of the reported cases, it is not always known whether mother-to-baby transmission occurred during pregnancy, at the time of childbirth or after birth. But it seems that in utero transmission is rare. It would be more frequent after birth.
- What are the risks for the baby?
In a study published in October in Nature Communications, a French team from Antoine Béclère hospital in Clamart, in the Paris region, analyzed 176 cases of babies infected with Sars-Cov-2. Half had symptoms, such as fever, difficulty in breathing, digestive upset and neurological symptoms. Symptoms similar to those we know in adults.
Only 3 or 4 had serious complications. But no baby died. However, we must remain cautious. There is still a lack of data and hindsight on the long-term consequences on the health of babies who have had Covid-19 in utero or at birth.
So far, doctors do not advise separating a mother who has Covid-19 from her newborn baby. She can even breastfeed. But it is of course necessary to respect barrier gestures such as wearing a mask and washing hands.