How Does Testing Positive For COVID Affect Your Pregnancy?

It's hard enough worrying about getting COVID-19, but if you're pregnant or have recently been pregnant, you might find yourself a bit more anxious about the health of both yourself and your baby. With COVID-19 variants continuing to spread, it sometimes feels impossible to avoid the illness. So what does it mean if you catch the virus while pregnant?

Testing positive for COVID-19 during pregnancy does put you at an increased risk, according to The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Keep in mind, you may need to be admitted to an intensive care unit, where you'll require a ventilator and be at risk of complications or death. Some complications include high blood pressure and heavy postpartum bleeding. In addition, you may also be more likely to have a preterm birth, or your baby may require neonatal intensive care. In fact, Black and Hispanic women are more at risk for severe illness due to social, health, and economic inequities.

It's still important to be cautious

The overall risk of COVID-19 for pregnant women or women who have recently been pregnant is still low (via Mayo Clinic). However, it's still best to contact your doctor right away if you develop COVID-19 symptoms while pregnant. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends getting the COVID-19 vaccine if you're pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning to get pregnant.

A study of over 40,000 women found that receiving a COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy poses no serious risks to mothers or their babies and also protects them from serious illnesses. Aside from the vaccine being safe, mothers can build antibodies against COVID-19, which could help protect their babies, too.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stresses the importance of pregnant women taking measures to protect themselves against COVID-19. In other words, stay up to date with all your healthcare appointments, get vaccinated if you haven't already, wear a mask when appropriate, avoid crowds, stay six feet apart from those you don't live with, and wash your hands often.