Coronavirus (COVID-19), Pregnancy, and Breastfeeding

Coronavirus (COVID-19), Pregnancy, and Breastfeeding

Coronavirus (COVID-19), Pregnancy, and Breastfeeding: A Message for Patients

Reviewed by: Lisa Hollier, MD, MPH, FACOG, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas

 

Experts are learning more every day about the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19. The American College of

Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) is following the situation closely.

 

 

How can COVID-19 affect a fetus?

It is too early for researchers to know how COVID-19 might affect a fetus. Some pregnant women with COVID-19 have had preterm births, but it is not clear whether the preterm births were because of COVID-19. It is not likely that COVID-19 passes to a fetus during pregnancy, labor, or delivery, but more research is needed to be sure.

 

What should pregnant women do to avoid the coronavirus?

The virus spreads mainly from person-to-person contact. Pregnant women can take the same steps as other people to

protect themselves. These steps include:

 

  • Washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and/or cleaning hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if you cannot wash them (rub until your hands feel dry)
  • Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Staying home as much as possible
  • Staying at least 6 feet away from other people if you need to go out
  • Avoiding people who are sick

 

See all the prevention tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

How will COVID-19 affect prenatal and postpartum care visits?

As this virus spreads, it is a good idea to call your obstetrician–gynecologist (ob-gyn) or other health care professional to

find out how your visits may be changed. Some women may have fewer or more spaced out in-person visits. You also may have more options to connect with your health care team over the phone or through an online video call. This is called telemedicine, or telehealth. Telehealth is a great way for you to get the care you need while preventing the spread of disease.

 

How can I manage stress, anxiety, and depression?

Some pregnant and postpartum women may be feeling fear, uncertainty, stress, or anxiety because of COVID-19.

Reaching out to friends and family during this time may help. Phone calls, texts, and online chats are safe ways to stay

connected to others. There also are treatment and support resources you can access over the phone or online. Talk with your ob-gyn or other health care professional about how to get help if you’re having any symptoms like the ones below:

 

  • Feeling sad, hopeless, worthless, or helpless
  • Being afraid or worried, which may cause a fast heartbeat
  • Feeling that life is not worth living
  • Having repeated scary or unwanted thoughts that are hard to get rid of

 

If you are in crisis or feel like you want to harm yourself or others, call 911 right away.  Physical activity also may help your mental health. And it may be useful to focus on your breathing each day, especially if you are feeling anxious. Breathe in for 4 seconds, hold for 7 seconds, and breathe out for 8 seconds. Repeat this breathing three times to help you relax.

 

CLICK HERE to download a copy of the ACOG article.

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March Newsletter

Patient-Centered Care for Pregnant Patients during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Patient-Centered Care for Pregnant Patients during the COVID-19 Pandemic

As the physicians, certified nurse-midwives (CNM), and certified midwives (CM) who care for patients and their families, we see firsthand the stress and uncertainty facing pregnant women, parents, and their support networks during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are listening to our patients and share their concerns about the impact of this pandemic on their intended plans for labor and birth. We stand in solidarity with our patients and are committed to working tirelessly to deliver evidence-based, respectful, and patient-centered care for our patients and their families during this time.

 

Amid the significant strain on the health care system, our entire maternity care team is committed to making sure laboring patients get the support they need to birth confidently, safely, and respectfully. Our providers are carefully adjusting, and our office is committed to continuing to add layers of protection every single day.

 

  • Hospitals and birth centers that are both licensed and accredited remain safe places to give birth in the United States.

 

  • Effective communication is essential in this time of increased stress and uncertainty, and we encourage pregnant patients to stay with the health care professionals who have been providing their care and talk with their physician or midwife about their concerns regarding labor support and safe birth care.

 

  • Physicians, certified nurse-midwives, certified midwives, and the entire health care team will work to ensure that precautions are taken to make labor and delivery as safe as possible for their patients.

 

At Celebration Obstetrics and Gynecology, patient safety and wellbeing are of paramount importance. We are committed to providing quality, patient-centered care to pregnant patients and their infants during this challenging time. Please do not hesitate to give our office a call with any questions or concerns at 407-566-BABY (2229).

 

For the full article please click the link below!

OB ACOG Article

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March Newsletter

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