What You Need to Know About Having a Baby During Covid-19
There is plenty of uncertainty around healthcare during the COVID-19 crisis. If you are pregnant during this time, you likely have even more on your mind about how your prenatal appointments, labor, and delivery will look during the pandemic. Neighborhood Healthcare is committed to providing the information you need to make the best healthcare choices for yourself during the crisis. Take a look at some of our answers to frequently asked questions surrounding prenatal care and having a baby during COVID-19.
Are Pregnant Women at Greater Risk of Contracting COVID-19?
There is no evidence that shows that being pregnant will increase a woman’s risk for getting COVID-19 or experience greater risk or more severe symptoms if she has the disease. Because little is known about this novel virus, it is recommended that pregnant people report concerning symptoms to their healthcare provider immediately. This includes:
- Chest Tightness
- Difficulty Breathing
What Are the Risks of COVID-19 to the Pregnancy and the Baby
A very small number of babies have tested positive for COVID-19 shortly after birth according to the CDC. While much is still unknown about the risks to the pregnancy and to the baby, mother-to-child transmission during pregnancy is unlikely. It is possible for a newborn to be infected after being in close contact with an infected person. Hospitals and birthing centers will have protocols set up to help protect the newborn and avoid spreading the virus.
Will Birth Partners Be Allowed During the Birth?
It is important that women talk to their providers about their current policy regarding birth partners as protocols and restrictions may vary. Many hospitals are not restricting entrance and are only allowing one person to attend a birth. Women that were planning to have support from a doula can ask them about virtual support services as an alternative.
What Will Happen During Labor/Delivery if the Mother is Infected?
In the event that a pregnant woman has COVID-19 at the time of the birth, they will be isolated from other patients. Providers that care for them will be wearing masks. Partners may or may not be restricted from being present during the birth.
Guidelines from the CDC include limiting visitors to patients with known or suspected COVID-19. Alternative methods for interactions are encouraged such as video-call applications. The facility will evaluate the risk to the health of the necessary visitors and will instruct them to perform proper handwashing, use masks, and follow hospital policies for their safety.
Newborns may be separated until their infection status can be confirmed in an attempt to prevent transmission. If this occurs, mothers can ask to provide pumped breastmilk for the baby (it does
not appear that the virus can be transmitted in breastmilk). If a mother has COVID-19 and chooses to breastfeed they should do the following:
- Wear a cloth face covering while breastfeeding
- Wash their hands before each feeding
- Use a dedicated breast pump and follow recommendations for proper pump cleaning after each use
Patients should ask their provider what their policy is regarding infected mothers staying with a baby that is not infected. Typically, infected mothers will be allowed to leave the hospital when symptoms have stabilized and they have had two negative swab tests with at least 24 hours between them.
Should Mothers Attend Prenatal or Postpartum Appointments?
It is important that women do not skip prenatal or postpartum care appointments. These checkups are essential for tracking and ensuring the health of the baby. If there is concern about attending the appointment due to COVID-19, you can talk to your healthcare provider about alternative options.
Pregnant Women Can Still Access Health Services from Neighborhood Healthcare
Giving birth is one of the most extraordinary experiences of a woman’s life. While there are some unexpected changes to what having a baby will look like due to COVID-19, what ultimately matters is that your baby is here and healthy. Neighborhood Healthcare is prepared to meet the challenges of the pandemic and will continue to provide expecting mothers with the care and services they need. Patients can feel confident that we are putting their health and safety first. We have set up prescreening areas in front of our buildings and we are providing telemedicine options for patients’ visits. Take a look at this list of things you need to know about COVID-19.
Call 1-833-867-4642 to schedule an appointment. Our team can help with any additional questions or concerns surrounding having a baby during these uncertain times.