Coronavirus file photo stock of nurse

In this March 13, 2020, file photo, a nurse at a drive-up coronavirus testing station wears a face shield and other protective gear as she waits by a tent in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Woman's Hospital says pregnant woman need to take extra precautions during the coronavirus pandemic, including self-isolating at home in the final two weeks before their due date.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently announced that pregnant women with COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus, may have a higher risk for serious illness than women who are not pregnant.

While the CDC noted that pregnant women with COVID-19 were hospitalized at higher rates, it wasn't known whether that was because of illness or out of an abundance of caution.

“Pregnant women should avoid going out in public when at all possible to minimize exposure,” said Dr. R. Clifton Moore, medical director of maternal-fetal medicine for Woman’s Hospital. “They should also pay especially close attention to their health for any symptoms of COVID-19 and maintain regular visits with their OB-GYN to ensure both mom and baby remain in good health.”

The hospital says pregnant women should self-isolate for the last two weeks before delivery, if possible. Moore says expecting moms should limit interactions with others as much as possible, especially in the final weeks of pregnancy.

Other advice to pregnant women amid the pandemic includes what health professionals continue to tell others to do: wear a mask in public and wash hands frequently.

The CDC reports that 10,537 pregnant women have tested positive for COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic. Of these women, 3,077 have been hospitalized and 30 have died.

In Baton Rouge, a newborn baby died from coronavirus complications in April after the mother had become infected and delivered her baby more than three months early.

And just last week a 29-year-old pregnant woman died from the coronavirus, delivering a premature baby girl who weighed only 2 pounds when born. The baby has been placed on a ventilator since her lungs aren't fully developed yet.

Public health officials have been alarmed by an apparent resurgence of coronavirus cases in Louisiana, particularly in East Baton Rouge Parish. Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome made it mandatory for city residents to wear masks in public places, starting Friday; those who don't comply could be subject to a fine. 

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