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Are pregnant women at higher risk for COVID-19?


NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – In the midst of coronavirus, pregnant women want to know, are they at higher risk for COVID-19?

Dr. Joshua Copel, a leading high risk pregnancy specialist at Yale New Haven Hospital answers, there is no clear indication that they are.

“Pregnant women may be at higher risk, we don’t know for sure,” he says.

Here’s why: Dr. Copel says there’s limited information. A small study in Wuhan, China reports that nine pregnant women with coronavirus recovered and their babies born healthy.

“We don’t know for sure,” says Dr. Copel, “Whether this coronavirus will behave like others have in the past and have been quite different in pregnant women or whether it will behave like it seems to with young people in which the disease doesn’t seem to be as severe as its in older people.”

He does stress, in a pandemic such as this, all three trimesters of pregnancy are crucial.

“For example, women who develop high fevers in the first trimester may have a higher at risk for birth defect and have a higher risk of the baby not growing well.”

For pregnant women in their second or third trimester – high fevers could also lead to early labor.

But currently there is no specific data that the pregnant population is more vulnerable to COVID-19.

He says, “Right now, groups like the American College of OB/GYN and the Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine are not recommending that pregnant women need to take precautions of above and beyond that we are recommending for the entire population.”

Dr. Copel recommends that pregnant women, if they are not already doing so, should be talking to their doctor or midwife about any concern they may have.

Meanwhile, just like everyone else he says that they should be vigil about social distancing and washing their hands.

For more information, you can call the Yale Covid hotline at 833-ASK-YNHH or at

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