Covid-19 (coronavirus) and Pregnancy: FAQs
We understand that this is a time of great concern – especially for our patients who are pregnant during the current health crisis. Please know that the caring obstetricians at Contemporary Obstetrics & Gynecology are here to make your pregnancy a safe, healthy and beautiful experience for you and your baby.
In this article the obstetricians at Contemporary Obstetrics & Gynecology, answer our pregnant patients’ questions about Covid-19 (coronavirus) and pregnancy.
How are pregnant women affected by Covid-19 (coronavirus)?
While doctors are still researching how Covid-19 affects pregnant woman, the outlook appears very hopeful!
According to current reports, the symptoms experienced by pregnant women with Covid-19 (coronavirus) are no more severe than those of the general public. And, by taking the same precautionary steps as the general public, pregnant women increase their chances of avoiding infection.
So, you can still experience a beautiful childbirth experience!
How can Covid-19 (coronavirus) affect a fetus?
At this time, researchers are still in the process of investigating how a fetus might be affected by Covid-19 (coronavirus). For example, while some women infected with Covid-19 (coronavirus) have experienced preterm births, many have not – so it remains unclear whether or not early delivery can be the result of the virus.
Fortunately, though a definitive answer requires further research, experts tend to agree that it is extremely unlikely for an expectant mother to pass Covid-19 (coronavirus) onto her fetus during pregnancy.
How will prenatal & postpartum visits be affected by Covid-19 (coronavirus)?
Prenatal care is just as important for your baby’s health during this time of social distancing. As the world continues to adjust to the continuously evolving Covid-19 (coronavirus) situation, we encourage our patients to call us to inquire about the status of their scheduled visits.
Depending on the patient, visits to our office may be less frequent or spaced farther apart. Additionally, some in-person visits may occasionally be replaced with “telemedicine” phone or online video calls.
What should expectant mothers do if they think they have Covid-19 (coronavirus)?
If you are pregnant, have a fever and/or cough, and believe you have been exposed to Covid-19 (coronavirus) contact your OBGYN immediately.
Pregnant mothers who have the emergency warning signs for Covid-19 (coronavirus) are urged to either call 911 or visit the hospital immediately.
Emergency warning signs of the coronavirus virus include:
- • shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- • extended pain or feelings of pressure in the chest
- • inability to respond to others
- • sudden confusion
- • blue coloration in the lips or face.
If you do have to go to the hospital, call ahead to let them know you are coming so they can prepare – and advise them that you are pregnant. Also have someone call your OBGYN or midwife as soon as possible, to let them know when and where you are being admitted.
If I have Covid-19 (coronavirus), how will my labor & delivery be affected?
For most expectant mothers, the timing and delivery method (vaginal birth or cesarean birth) of their birth will not have to change because of the virus.
Generally, women confirmed to or suspected to have Covid-19 (coronavirus) can have a normal, vaginal birth – and are not required to give birth via cesarean section just because of Covid-19.
While each pregnant mother’s experience is unique, some mothers with Covid-19 (coronavirus) make arrangements with their health care team to have their newborn stay in a separate room as a way to reduce the baby’s risk of infection. However, other hospitals allow mother child contact, by following the WHO guidelines below.
If I have Covid-19 (coronavirus), will I be able to touch and hold my newborn baby?
According to WHO (World Health Organization), as long as respiratory hygiene protocols are followed, new mothers can touch their newborns. Newborn babies benefit greatly from close contact and early, exclusive breastfeeding.
For this reason, our staff will do everything they can to ensure mothers of newborns may safely breastfeed, hold their baby skin-to-skin, and share the same room with their baby whenever possible, in keeping with the hospital policies in effect at the time of delivery.
Of course, as a precaution against the spread of Covid-19 (coronavirus), new mothers who may be infected are advised to wear masks and to wash their hands both before and after touching their baby.
If I have Covid-19 (coronavirus), will I pass it to my baby by breastfeeding?
While further research on the subject continues to be conducted, there have been no confirmed cases of Covid-19 (Coronavirus) being transmitted through breast milk.
In fact, not only is breast milk a newborn’s best possible source of nutrition, it is also proven to protect babies against numerous illnesses. If you have Covid-19 (coronavirus), consult with your OBGYN about whether it is in your baby’s best interest to begin or continue breastfeeding.
What if I have other questions about how Covid-19 affects my pregnancy right now?
The most up-to-date information about Covid-19 (coronavirus) can be found on the CDC’s website, which undergoes frequent updates.
And call our office and ask to speak to your OBGYN any time you have a question or concern about your pregnancy and Covid-19 (coronavirus).
We are here to help you, and ensure that you have a safe, healthy and beautiful delivery!