IU Health OB-GYN talks COVID-19 and pregnant women

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Being pregnant can be overwhelming in times of normalcy. But for women who are pregnant during the COVID-19 outbreak, there is a new layer of unknowns.

Fox59 spoke to Dr. Chemen Neal, an IU Health obstetrician-gynecologist, to talk about the possible risks and the precautions pregnant women should take.

“There’s a lot we don’t know about this virus,” admitted Dr. Neal. “Early reports of very small amounts of pregnant women out of China are showing that they’re more severely affected. There just really aren’t enough numbers of women affected yet to tell that.”

For now, Dr. Neal said doctors are being overly cautious.

Dr. Neal also spoke out about the risk of a pregnant mother passing COVID-19 to her baby. She said it does not seem to be a factor at this time, but more research needs to be done.

“It doesn’t seem like the virus is transmitted through breast milk,” said Dr. Neal when asked about the possibility. “It is very early to say for sure. We are more concerned about women transferring the virus through respiratory droplets.”

Dr. Neal also had advice for pregnant women working outside the home.

“My advice is to really stay away from sick people, to wash your hands, practice social distancing,” began Dr. Neal. “We do have healthcare workers who are pregnant, and we are trying to protect them as much as possible by keeping them away from our sick patients and having them wear protective clothing.”

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