Head of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Prof. Yves Muscat Baron spoke out earlier this morning from Mater Dei hospital to address questions related to pregnancy and COVID-19, and reveal the local measures put in place to approach this situation safely and effectively.
In the Q&A session, he explained that mothers, from his experience, are: "the most motivated person in life because the pregnant mother will do everything for her child. He welcomed all questions and insisted that his team are there to fully support mothers at such a trying time.
High fever in pregnancy
Addressing the consequences of COVID-19 on mother and unborn baby, Prof. Muscat Baron explained that while fit adults are able to disspell high fever by sweating, a baby's manner of doing so would be through the umbilical cord, which is not as effective. In such instances, the doctor advises expectant mothers to take two paracetamols every six hours and drink lots of water to help both bodies cool down.
Coronavirus can infect a newborn after birth, but not before
Prof. Muscat Baron confirmed that unborn babies of mothers diagnosed with Coronavirus would not be affected by the virus. However, they stood a risk of infection from the mother after birth, and as such the decision is being taken to separate mother and child in such circumstances: "I know it's painful for the mother, but we're doing this for the baby," he insisted.
Expectant mothers should attend appointments
The doctor confirmed that all staff's attention is now on pregnancy. As such, routine check-ups are discouraged for the time being. However, he insists that attending gyne appointments during pregnancy should remain a mother's top priority and all care and consideration is being taken to ensure no overcrowding.
Giving birth & birthing partners
Prof. Muscat Baron explained that C-sections will only be carried out if vaginal birth poses a risk to mother or child: "Having COVID-19 is not a reason to have a C-section," he said.
Adding on to this, should birthing partners pose a risk, no matter how minimal, to mother, baby or hospital staff, they will not be permitted in.
Those planning pregnancy should wait
Prof. Muscat Baron also advised couples planning a pregnancy to wait for two months.
Watch the Q&A session in full below: