Expecting During the COVID-19 Pandemic
If you’re expecting a baby, you may be excited but also have some concerns about the delivery— particularly related to COVID-19. Here are some of the most common questions about being pregnant during the pandemic and answers from the experts.
How could my pregnancy care be affected due to COVID-19?
Despite the current pandemic, it’s important that you keep your prenatal and postpartum care visits with your obstetrics physician or healthcare provider. Due to the pandemic and the needs of you and your baby, your healthcare provider may reduce the number of medical visits you require.
Are there higher risks in pregnancy due to COVID-19?
The good news is, the risk of contracting the virus when you’re pregnant is low. However, experts say those who are pregnant and Covid positive may:
- Become more severely ill
- Develop respiratory complications
- Require admission to an intensive care unit
- Need to be placed on a ventilator
These risks are higher for women who are Hispanic or Black and those with diabetes, high blood pressure, or a higher body mass index. Women with COVID-19 are also more likely to have a premature delivery and have their baby admitted to a neonatal care unit.
What should I expect for hospital protocol when I go in to deliver during the pandemic?
When you go to the hospital to deliver your baby, you and your support person will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms. If you’re healthy, there may be very few changes to your care. If you’re Covid positive or have symptoms and you’re scheduled for a C-section or labor induction, you will still be seen. The number of visitors you’re allowed to have will likely be reduced as well to protect you and your baby. If you are transferred to another unit, you and your support person may be screened for Covid symptoms again.
What should I know if I give birth and I’m Covid positive?
Transmission of COVID-19 to a newborn occurs after birth through infected respiratory droplets from the mother or another caregiver. If you’re Covid positive, your baby will be tested for the virus after birth, depending on the availability of testing. Also, your healthcare provider will discuss with you the pros and cons of limiting contact with your baby. You’ll be asked to take precautions to protect your baby by wearing a mask and practicing good hand hygiene.
We’re here to help you stay informed about your pregnancy and COVID-19. Be sure to discuss these issues with your healthcare provider to increase the likelihood of a safe and healthy delivery for you and your baby.