Doctors address pregnancy concerns during COVID-19 crisis

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ANDERSON COUNTY, SC (WSPA)– Doctors said it’s still too early to determine how COVID-19 can impact pregnant women. They said it’s still important for mothers to take extra precautionary steps of safety.

Some say giving birth to a baby is the most joyous thing in the world. However, due to the Coronavirus crisis, some moms are now fearful about what it can do to their bundles of joy.

“It’s really scary having a 16-month old and this could take them away,” said Christianna McCarley, an Anderson County mother.

McCarley said she’s concerned for her family and other unborn children.

“Now that everybody is coming out, you don’t know what age is going to get it… and how it’s going to affect the fact they don’t have a cure for it,” McCarley said.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said they do not know if pregnant women have a greater chance of getting sick during COVID-19. Health leaders said they also don’t know if pregnant women are more likely to have serious illnesses as a result.

“I think we just don’t know if she’s more severe or susceptible then someone who is not. This virus is so new for us, that we just don’t know,” said Dr. Michelle Tucker, OBGYN at AnMed Health.

Dr. Tucker said there are still some concerns.

“The CDC and ACOG does have concerns because she is pregnant…. she is a bit immunosuppressed, therefore their risk for complications may be higher in fact for pregnant women,” Dr. Tucker said.

Health experts said since pregnant women’s bodies are constantly changing, that may increase their risk of some infections. The CDC’s website also said, “…with viruses from the same family as COVID-19, and other viral respiratory infections, such as influenza, women have had a higher risk of developing severe illnesses.”

“I think ultimately she can have anything from asymptomatic type of infection verses a mild infection, or possibly even a severe infection,” said Dr. Tucker. “Asymptomatic shedding, someone can be in contact with the virus and not even know they have any symptoms,” Dr. Tucker added.

Dr. Tucker said when a mother starts having severe symptoms, that’s when health officials worry.

“I’m having difficulties in breathing, walking to the mailbox and back…or going up a flight of stairs,” Dr. Tucker said. “They can be very lethargic…or even dehydrated. In those severe cases, that’s when you should be seeking medical care,” the doctor added.

Lisa Rumsey owns Kakalaki Kids Consignment Boutique in Anderson. She said she’s around pregnant and new moms all the time. Rumsey said all of these concerns have impacted her daily business and her personal life.

“As a mom, obviously you want to protect your children, so we are staying at home more,” Rumsey said.

That’s exactly what doctors said all new moms should do, especially those who have premature babies.

“I think the pediatricians have always recommended with premature babies who have gone to the NICU or home, definitely limited exposure,” Dr. Tucker said.

The doctor said for those concerned for smaller children, they haven’t been able to find its impact just yet.

“I don’t think they are seeing it as much in the children, that we’re aware of, but again we’re not testing everybody yet because those test are not available for everybody to be tested,” Dr. Tucker said.

Rumsey and McCarley said staying home may be hard to do, but for the sake of all little ones, it’s for the best.

“Honestly, just stay in. It’s not worth going out and getting anything,” said McCarley.

“Just be wise and pray,” Rumsey added.

Click here to read more information from the CDC.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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