COVID-19 Pregnancy FAQs
1. How are hospitals and doctors keeping birthing mothers safe?
Hospitals are taking extra precautions to screen pregnant women when coming in to deliver. Any mother that is exhibiting signs or symptoms of COVID-19 will be treated as a person under investigation and be asked to wear a mask as a precaution. They will be placed in a room away from healthy patients during their time in the hospital. In addition, their delivery team will wear masks as a precaution when interacting with the patient.
2. What should moms expect when they go into labor? Can spouses be present? Do the mom and partner wear a facemask?
The one change that impacts all new moms is the no visitor policy. All hospitals in West Michigan have prohibited visitors, including those for new moms, for the health and safety of patients and staff.
For a healthy mother, they shouldn’t expect anything different when they go into labor. A healthy mother will not need to wear a mask and they are allowed to have one birthing partner present for the birth.
If the mother has any symptoms of COVID-19 they would be considered a person under investigation and would be put through a health screening upon arrival. As a precaution, they will be asked to wear a mask during labor along with their birth attendant and delivery team.
3. If a woman thinks she might be pregnant and she doesn’t have an OBGYN, what’s her next step?
Metro Health OBGYNs are currently accepting new patients. If you are pregnant and need an OBGYN, you can contact our Women’s Health Center at 616-252-4410 to schedule an appointment. We are doing both in-person and virtual visits with patients, so there are different options available based on your needs.
4. Options for the use of technology in the birthing room (Skype in another family member, or say a birthing coach/doula)? Is this possible?
With the new visitor restrictions in place, moms are limited to only one birthing attendant. Patients are welcome to explore the use of technology to include others – a birthing coach or family member. One recent example at Metro Health is a mother whose spouse was deployed in Iraq. The hospital was able to use a virtual platform to share the experience with him overseas.
5. Any impact on breastfeeding, if a new mom developed symptoms?
Data shows that COVID-19 cannot be transmitted through breastmilk, nor will not change the breastmilk of a new mother.
If a breastfeeding mom develops symptoms of COVID-19, she could pass it along to her baby in the same way as everyone else. It is recommended that she wears a mask and practices proper hand hygiene to prevent the spread of the virus to others.
6. Have any babies been born in the U.S. with COVID-19?
There are currently no cases of COVID-19 being passed on in utero. There is one case in the US of a COVID-19 positive newborn, but it is thought that the virus was passed along to the baby at time of birth.
7. Added precautions if a woman has to deliver via C-section / worry over the availability of a surgical room?
COVID-19 has not impacted our delivery spaces for moms. We have plenty of birthing rooms as well as operating rooms available for moms needing C-sections.
8. Have there been issues with finding newborn supplies (diapers, formula)?
We have heard from new mothers that newborn diapers and baby wipes are difficult to find at this time.
9. Will newborn wellness visits continue on the same schedule in office?
Yes, newborn well visits are still taking place. These are important visits that need to continue. Depending on the situation, some visits can take place virtually. This is something that moms can discuss with their child’s pediatrician.
10. Related- will moms have a 6-week postpartum visit in office?
Six-week postpartum visits are still taking place. Depending on the circumstances, mothers will be seen in the office or virtually. If there are no big concerns that need to be addressed, a virtual visit is a great option that doesn’t require moms to come into the office with their newborn.
Answers provided by Jeffery Postlewaite, DO, Metro Health- University of Michigan Health on April 21, 2020.