COVID 19: Antenatal Care and Maternity Services

COVID-19 Technical Brief for Maternity Services (UNFPA)

The UNFPA have published the above guidelines which provide useful advice on triage, antenatal care, labour, and post natal care in the context of COVID 19.

Maternity services should continue to be prioritised as an essential core health service.

Click to read the UNFPA FAQs regarding pregnancy and COVID 19

Key Points:

  • Information on the impact of COVID-19 on early pregnancy outcomes remains unavailable at the time of writing.
  • Limited data are available on COVID-19 in pregnancy, but the studies published to date do not show an increased risk of severe disease in late pregnancy or substantial risk to the newborn.
  • Congenital infection has not been found, and the virus has not been detected in expelled products of conception.
  • It is expected that the large majority of pregnant women will experience only mild or moderate symptoms similar to the cold or flu, or sometimes no symptoms at all.
  • At present healthy women of childbearing age and pregnant women are not at high risk for moderate to severe disease if they develop COVID-19 infection, and are not known to be more infectious than the general public.
  • There is no evidence at present of an increased risk of miscarriage, teratogenicity (abnormalities of physiological development) or in-utero (vertical) transmission of the COVID-19 virus.
  • There is no evidence demonstrating transmission by breastfeeding however, research is underway to investigate this further.
  • Babies born to mothers with coronavirus can potentially become infected with the virus after birth (through droplet exposure), however the risk of transmission can be minimised through general infection control practices.
  • Most babies who become infected will likely only experience mild illness.

The following document, also written by the UNFPA, explains in more detail about how to continue to provide high quality Antenatal Care during the COVID 19 pandemic: