Childbirth in the Time of Covid-19

How is the Covid 19 virus transmitted?

The virus is transmitted by droplet infection from person to person through close contact, i.e. breathing secretions that an infected person discharges (when coughing, sneezing, speaking) penetrate the mouth, nose or eyes of the other person. It can be transmitted indirectly by touching contaminated surfaces or hands of infected people and then touching your own mouth, nose or eyes.

Are pregnant women at increased risk of infection?

No, pregnant women do not appear to have an increased risk of developing Covid-19. The course of the disease also shows a mild course in most pregnant women. The immune system changes during pregnancy, which can have a negative impact on infections. With Covid-19 this is obviously not the case.

What is the risk that the mother will infect the child?

Case studies have shown that there is no vertical transmission - i.e. transmission from the mother to the unborn child in the womb. Infection of newborns is extremely rare and usually appears to be unproblematic. After birth, however, there is a risk of infection due to the physical closeness, which must be countered with hygiene measures.

Does a Covid-19 infection increase the risk of premature birth?

According to current knowledge, the risk of premature birth due to an infection is not increased.

Is it beneficial for Covid-19 infected mothers to give birth by caesarean section?

If there is no medical problem, a normal birth can take place. If the symptoms worsen in an infected mother, a caesarean section may be indicated. Gynecologists shall discuss the  mode of delivery with the expectant mother and take a joint decision.

Should an infected mother be separated from her child after birth?

If the mother's disease is severe, it is advisable to separate the child from the mother for some time. If the course is mild, it is sufficient to observe hygiene measures. Breastfeeding and close skin contact is very important for the child.

What hygiene measures should an infected mother observe after birth to protect her child?

Wash hands before touching the child or objects such as breast pump, feeding bottles, and thorough sterilization of breast pump and bottles. The mother should avoid coughing or sneezing while the child is being fed. Mothers should wear a protective mask covering her mouth and nose.

Should an infected mother breastfeed her child?

Current case studies indicate that breast milk is not infected. The greatest risk when breastfeeding is in close physical contact between mother and child. However, based on the current facts, the benefits of breastfeeding clearly outweigh the risk of infection.

What special precautionary measures are currently being taken in the birth center of the Döbling private hospital?

All women giving birth are tested for the Covid-19 virus. In the case of planned recordings immediately before admission, otherwise immediately upon admission. Hygiene measures are strictly observed. For asymptomatic mothers and fathers, we recommend wearing a mouth-nose protective mask, which is also worn by our staff.

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