Coronavirus and pregnancy

Does the COVID-19 virus threaten the baby inside the mother and during childbirth? Can I breastfeed if I have coronavirus? The doctor, gynecologist, endocrinologist Natalia Silina answers.

Natalia Silina

Analysis of sick pregnant and breastfeeding women has showed that coronavirus does not penetrate into breast milk and was not detected in amniotic fluid.

1. Can I breastfeed if I have symptoms of a viral infection (cough, runny nose, fever)?

Do not stop breastfeeding. Before touching the baby, wash your hands with liquid soap for 20 seconds. And of course, wear a mask.

Breastfeeding gives baby the antibodies that help to destroy the viruses

2. How to clean pacifiers and bottles so that the baby does not get infected with coronavirus?

It is necessary to follow the rules for processing children’s things, not only during the coronavirus epidemic.

Bottles and pacifiers might be boiled if you do not have a home sterilizer.

3. How to protect your baby? How many times to apply antiseptic on his hands?

  • Wash your baby’s hands with a liquid detergent for kids;
  • You can’t apply alcohol-containing antiseptics to babies hands;
  • Wash toys with warm soapy water and rinse thoroughly. During the epidemic, use only those toys that can be subjected to high-quality cleaning (boiling or rinsing with clean water after treatment with liquid soap);
  • Work with your own anxiety to keep lactation!

4. Can I lubricate the baby’s nose with ointments or oils to prevent viral infection (as well as coronavirus)?

Important! The nasal mucosa is a series of cells whose task is to physically resist the penetration of bacteria, viruses and allergens into the body. It is also a kind of factory for the production of cytokines, substances that regulate the duration and intensity of the immune response to viruses, bacteria and allergens that enter the nose.

Therefore, the nose should be clean and washed. A baby and a newborn should not lubricate the nose with baby oil (and olive oil is not necessary either). Just drip 1–2 drops of saline into each nostril if there are crusts, or you have dry air in the room.

5. I am giving birth now in the hospital and have signs of COVID-19, will my baby be isolated from me immediately after delivery?

Everything is individual and depends on the condition in which the baby was born. Whether the delivery was difficult and whether the newborn is in a stable condition.


6. I am healthy, can I catch coronavirus when I come to the maternity hospital to give birth?

In each Ukrainian city, 1-2 maternity hospitals have been re-equipped to receive women with COVID-19 symptoms.

7. Why were partner births canceled in Ukraine?

In order to reduce the risk of infection of other women and newborns in the hospital, it was decided worldwide to cancel the permission for the presence of a husband/mother/doula at childbirth.

I understand that it is difficult to accept that you and your partner have been preparing together for 9 months for the long-awaited appearance of the baby, and now you will go this way without him. But such steps are justified because they reduce the risk of an epidemic in the hospital.

8. If I agreed with the doctor on individual support during childbirth, can it be that the doctor will not come?

Yes, of course, this is possible for several reasons. The first is the lack of resources. Now all doctors are preparing as much as possible for the rapid spread of the coronavirus epidemic. It may happen that the doctor has already worked for more than a few days and physically and emotionally is no longer able to accompany you during childbirth.

The second reason is that with the signs of COVID-19, you will be hospitalized in a maternity hospital that is re-profiled for pregnant women and women in labor with coronavirus.

Please find out which institution in your city accepts pregnant and postpartum women with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.

Find a safe way to get to the hospital with the beginning of labor in advance. We must be prepared that ambulances will be overwhelmed with calls from other patients. The quarantine and the COVID-19 epidemic will definitely end…

Please spend this time with maximum benefit for yourself.

Stay at home!

With love, your Natalia Silina,
gynecologist-endocrinologist, UNICEF and UNFPA expert on sexuality education

You can learn how to properly prepare for pregnancy in my course Preparing for Pregnancy. And everything you need to know about pregnancy and the first year of the baby you will find in the course Pregnancy and postpartum – a complete guide.

I’m eager to file all of these courses in English, just send me a request to dr.silinaeducation@gmail.com

You can always choose your doctor at the Lior Medical Center.

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