Doctor says pregnant women should take precautions as COVID-19 concerns grow

LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - With compromised immune systems, pregnant women are asked to stay cautious as coronavirus concerns grow.

“In a pregnant state, you do have an immuno-compromised immune system, so I’m treating pregnant patients like the immuno-compromised patients and giving them advisories for immuno-compromised patients on the CDC guidelines,” said Dr. Uzma Naeem, OB/GYN Chair for Christus Ochsner Lake Area Hospital. "At this time if you’re greater than 60, you should not be working, and essentially quarantining yourself, so I encourage pregnant patients as well to be doing that.”

According to Naeem, the CDC has limited literature and data on how COVID-19 impacts pregnancy and newborns.

“What we do know is that, in the literature, we don’t have positive babies born to COVID-19 mothers and we haven’t seen poor outcomes in them,” Naeem said. “The safest is functioning like a quarantine because the consequences for a pregnant mom who becomes COVID-19 positive is that they may have pre-term delivery, and there have been case reports that show that, and we know that with SARS and with influenza, the mortality rate is much higher.”

The CDC recommends pregnant mothers who have been diagnosed with COVID-19, be separated from their newborns until they test negative.

“When you really think about the gravity of having to be separated from your newborn when you have COVID-19, you should take every precaution possible not to become infected, because not only are you immuno-compromised but your baby has absolutely no immune system,” Naeem said.

If expecting mothers do choose to go out, Naeem recommends following CDC-recommended sanitation practices and maintaining social distancing.

Pregnant women should consult with their OB/GYN.

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