Our Women’s Health Nurse Practioner, Emilie, recently reviewed the recommendations from the American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists and Center for Disease Control regarding COVID-19 and pregnancy. She recently took the time to sit down and answer some of the most frequently asked questions we’ve heard.
By now, we know COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by Coronavirus, with symptoms appearing as shortness of breath, fever, and a cough. There are some stomach problems that can appear, but the main symptoms are shortness of breath, fever, and cough.
One of the questions we’ve heard a lot is “Do pregnant women have a higher risk of becoming infected with COVID-19?” The CDC and ACOG say that pregnant women don’t have a more severe chance than the general public to contract COVID-19, but there’s still a lot of research that still needs to be done.
ACOG, the CDC and the Wright Center for Women’s Health all recommend pregnant patients take the same standard precautions as others, such as:
- Washing their hands
- Wearing a cloth mask when out in public
- Staying home as much as possible
- Staying away from sick individuals
- Taking prenatal vitamins
Can COVID Affect a Fetus?
There is nothing to suggest that COVID-19 can be vertically transferred to the baby when they’re still in the womb. There have been some pre-term births associated with moms who tested positive for COVID-19, but it’s not likely that COVID has been transferred to the baby during pregnancy.
Will COVID-19 Affect My Prenatal Care & Postpartum Visits?
Depending on where you get prenatal care, the care may differ. However, The Wright Center For Women’s health is still open for essential visits and prenatal care. We are offering telehealth visits for patients, so they don’t even have to leave their homes. We suggest contacting your healthcare provider and ensuring their plans for prenatal care and postpartum visits.
Will This Affect The Labor & Delivery Policy?
The labor and delivery policy will vary depending on where you’re planning to give birth. At The Wright Center For Women’s Health, we suggest reaching out to your desired facility as close to the due date as possible for the latest information as far as the visitor policy goes. The policies are everchanging during this time, so it’s important to reach out to them as soon as you can before your baby arrives so you have the latest information.
I Think I Have COVID-19 & I’m Pregnant…What Do I Do?
If you believe you have COVID-19 or Coronavirus, call your healthcare provider, or call us as soon as possible. Our center offers telehealth visits and we can triage you before you come in. Our team will have everything set up for you before you arrive, have a test ready for you, and we can help you out.
However, if you have an emergency, difficulty breathing, or shortness of breath, please call 9-1-1 and seek help right away.
Should I Change My Labor & Delivery Plans?
The labor and delivery policies at hospitals are constantly changing. We suggest reaching out to the desired facility about their labor and delivery rules. As of right now, there is no consensus about which method of delivery – vaginal or cesarean section is safest for women who have been diagnosed with COVID-19, we suggest sticking to your desired birth plan to welcome your little one.
Is A Home Birth Safer For My Baby & I?
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists don’t recommend having a home birth, simply because there are always additional risks to labor and delivery that can be unexpected. It would be best and we really recommend you deliver your new baby in a hospital.
Can I Still Breastfeed My Baby?
As of right now, nothing suggests that COVID-19 is affecting breast milk. It is still important, now more than ever to breastfeed new babies, because it provides them with so many antibodies to help them fight infections.
How Can I Avoid Passing COVID-19 To My Newborn?
If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19, or are symptomatic but haven’t been diagnosed yet and have a new little one, it’s important to take the same precautions as anyone else would, but strengthen them a bit.
- Wash your hands every chance you get
- Wear a mask while breastfeeding
- Make sure the baby isn’t exposed to anyone else
- Wash your hands before and after touching your breast pump
- Stay clean as much as possible
What If I Have Other Questions?
We hope this answered your questions, but if you have any more questions, we encourage you to reach out to us, your healthcare provider or your hospital. The Wright Center For Women’s Health is still open for essential visits, including prenatal visits and telehealth visits.
Please let us know if you would like to speak to one of our healthcare professionals or schedule a visit with us. Follow us on social media and check out our blog for more information on the Coronavirus, our services, and how we’re staying safe. Stay safe and well!