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Pregnancy, delivery and COVID-19: Answers to the most common questions

Last Modified: 4/01/2020

Pregnancy and COVID-19

We live in unprecedented times. The stress and fear around the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is affecting people all over the world. Although hospitals have cancelled elective and non-urgent surgeries or appointments, pregnancy is different, since one cannot just delay care of the pregnancy until the pandemic is over. We know our expecting mothers have a lot of questions, so we invited Thomas Miller, MD, PPG – OB/GYN, and Geoffrey Gordon, MD, PPG – Maternal-Fetal Medicine, to share information for pregnant patients in our region so they can get a better idea of what to expect regarding prenatal care during COVID-19.

Are there extra precautions for pregnant women? Are pregnant women at greater risk?

We recommend that pregnant women follow the same hygiene guidance as nonpregnant individuals.  There are no current reports to suggest pregnant women are more susceptible to the virus than non-pregnant women. You may notice that some of your appointments in the OB clinic will be spaced out further than what you’ve read in books or experienced in past pregnancies. This is to help with social distancing and is in compliance with expert opinion and current publications.

Can coronavirus cross the placenta to my baby?

At this time, there is no proof of transfer from the placenta to the fetus. There are reports that preterm birth risk may be increased if a pregnant patient is infected with COVID-19, however, any infections in pregnancy are known to cause an increase in preterm birth. At this time, it doesn’t appear that COVID-19 causes the rate to be increased compared to other infections.

Can I have my partner/support person with me if I’m seen in Labor and Delivery Triage?

While being evaluated in Labor and Delivery Triage (for concerns like possible labor or leaking fluid), your partner/support person will not be allowed into the unit. If you require admission, that person will be allowed to come to your admitted room.

Can I have my partner/support person with me in Labor and Delivery?

At the current time, complying with recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to limit the spread of COVID-19, Parkview is allowing one partner/support person to be in the room with you for labor and delivery, however, your partner/support person will not be able to leave the room during the admission. Again, this is to limit potential exposure.

Will I need to wear a mask?

Any patient presenting with symptoms concerning for possible coronavirus (fever, cough, shortness of breath, etc.) will be asked to wear a mask.

Additionally, if a patient has potential symptoms for COVID-19, all medical providers (doctors and nurses) will wear full gowns, masks and gloves when assisting those patients. This will maintain safety for all patients in Labor and Delivery.

What happens if I get COVID-19 while pregnant?

Contact your OB provider. We have set up some guidance for our obstetrical providers regarding acceptable appointments that can be delayed to allow for quarantine. This includes the anatomy scan (usually around 20 weeks), the glucose tolerance test (usually around 28 weeks) and the group B strep swab (usually around 35 weeks). 

Parkview is also working on a clinic to assist women with COVID-19 or without COVID-19 who are on quarantine and providing prenatal guidance for whether or not upcoming OB appointments should be delayed. If prenatal care is needed (i.e. weekly appointments beyond 35 weeks), pregnant women may be asked to come to a special clinic for obstetrical care.  

The Parkview difference

At Parkview Hospital Women’s and Children’s Hospital, we are reviewing new changes and recommendations on a daily basis to keep you and your baby safe during the coronavirus pandemic.  Our goal is to ensure that pregnant women continue to have a positive pregnancy experience during these ever-changing times.

 

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