Doctors provide advice to pregnant women on how to stay safe, healthy amid pandemic

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Doctors know that people with underlying health conditions, including obesity and diabetes, are more likely to suffer serious complications if they catch COVID-19.

Data on how the virus affects pregnant women, however, remains preliminary.

To assess the risks and provide advice to patients, doctors are using a combination of preliminary data and information about other viruses.

"There's an increased risk for severe illness in pregnant women over non-pregnant women," said Dr. Andrea Contreras, an obstetrics and gynecology resident at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine. "And the recent CDC data reports that pregnant patients with COVID-19 are more likely to be hospitalized and are at increased risk for ICU admission and to be placed on mechanical ventilation."

Pregnant women should follow advice from health experts.

Women can protect themselves — and their babies — by wearing face masks, staying home as much as possible and minimizing contact with other people.

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