Coronavirus Infection Can Cause Premature Delivery Among Pregnant Women: Expert

Bhubaneswar: Pregnant women with novel coronavirus (Covid-19) infection are more likely to give birth prematurely (premature delivery), cautioned Prof Dr Tusharjyoti Kumar Kar, Head Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, SCB Medical College & Hospital.

“It has been proved that women infected with coronavirus have a premature delivery,” said Dr Kar addressing a Question & Answer session on the effects of Covid-19 infection on pregnant women.

Secondly, there is intrauterine growth retardation of the baby, Dr Kar added.

Dr Kar said that it has been observed that in 2% of cases abortions take place.

Apart from these three complications, pregnancy being a vulnerable stage Covid related complications can be more severe as compared to a normal person afflicted with the virus, Dr Kar clarified.

Responding to a query about whether a pregnant woman or a lactating mother can get vaccinated against Covid-19, Dr Kar said, “As per the current guidelines of the government neither a pregnant woman nor a lactating mother can be vaccinated against Covid-19. But it can’t be said what will be the guideline in the future”.

Again quoting the current guideline, Dr Kar said that in the event of a woman getting pregnant in the gap period between two doses of Covid vaccine, the woman is advised against taking the second dose.

The woman can go for fresh vaccination after the lactating period is over, he added.

Speaking on the arrangements made by the government for pregnant women severely infected with Covid-19, Dr Kar said that at the SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack 30 dedicated beds have been kept for pregnant women with severe Covid infection, these beds have oxygen facilities, ICU and ventilator support.

Similar arrangements are also available at the district headquarters hospital level, he added.

Dr Kar advised that this being Covid situation should consult a doctor immediately upon getting pregnant.

On whether a mother who has tested positive for Covid-19 can breastfeed her newborn, Dr Kar opined that to protect the baby from Covid-19, the mother should wear a double mask while breastfeeding the baby and should wash her hands and breasts with soap and water before breastfeeding the baby.

Dr Tusharjyoti Kumar Kar, HoD of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, SCBMCH