Local OB/GYN provides information for expecting mothers during COVID-19 pandemic

National News

PRINCETON, WV (WVNS) — While medical professionals are still learning about COVID-19, there is not much research yet on pregnant women.

Dr. Brandon Lingenfelter, an OB/GYN at Princeton Community Hospital, said the most recent information includes a study of about 32 women from China and Hong Kong who were at least 30 weeks pregnant.

“There was an increase in the pre-term birth rate. It was at 47 percent in that study,” Dr. Lingenfelter said. “While it was small, that’s what it looks like we’re getting the most reports of is pre-term delivery.”

Dr. Lingenfelter said it does not appear that an expectant mother can transfer the virus to their fetus. He said there has been one case so far of a child who contracted COVID-19 just 36 hours after birth.

“All we know from that is it was unlikely transmitted from the mom,” Dr. Lingenfelter said. “It was, they believe, to be an outside source that came in and was assisting with care of the baby.”

What can mothers do to limit the spread of the virus to their babies if they come in contact with it?

“The mom should try to perform good hand hygiene and respiratory precautions,” Dr. Lingenfelter said. “So, if she is breast feeding or pumping or interacting with the baby, the recommendation if she’s positive is that she should wear some sort of a mask to reduce the risk of transmission to the baby.”

Babies’ immune systems are weaker due to the fact that they have less contact with viruses and bacteria. Dr. Lingenfelter recommended keeping a list of all the places you have been, only leave your house for essential reasons, and to clean all surfaces in your homes with a bleach solution.

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