Having A Baby During Coronavirus

Having a baby is scary and stressful – being pregnant and giving birth during a pandemic makes it that much worse. Here's what you need to know about having a baby during coronavirus.

Being pregnant is a wonderful thing but we’d be lying if we said it wasn’t a smidge scary too. Babies change every part of our lives and they don’t exactly come with a list of instructions. (Though there are some new parent classes that can help).

No matter the amount of planning and prepping you do, you’ll never be fully prepared under normal circumstances. Throw in a worldwide pandemic and we bet a lot of soon-to-be-parents out there are scrambling for support and looking for answers they can’t seem to find.

Fret not, moms. Detroit-based Henry Ford Health System and the University of Chicago Medicine have tips and information about what you need to know about having a baby during coronavirus.

COVID-19 and Pregnancy

How do we keep healthy for our babies during a worldwide pandemic? Here’s how the hospitals suggest protecting yourself from COVID-19 while pregnant – and what steps you should take if you start showing symptoms.

Are pregnant people at greater risk for COVID?

According to Sarosh Rana, the Section Chief of Maternal-Fetal Medicine at UChicago Medicine, information on COVID-19 and pregnancy is limited. She says in a release though that pregnant people are generally at a higher risk for more “severe illness” when contracting the flu than those who are not pregnant.

Should pregnant people isolate themselves during the pandemic?

Though a pregnant person is at higher risk for more severe illness, isolation is not necessary. Instead, Henry Ford Health System recommends pregnant people follow the CDC’s guidelines for social distancing and hygiene. They also suggest the proper use of personal protective items like gloves and masks.

What if a pregnant person starts exhibiting symptoms?

If you develop a fever, dry cough, tiredness or other COVID-19 symptoms, UChicago Medicine suggests contacting your doctor. You will be asked a series of questions and may be asked to quarantine from home.

Generally speaking, Henry Ford says most people who test positive for COVID-19 will not need to go to the hospital to get special treatment but will be able to manage at home with Tylenol, rest and fluid.

Can COVID be passed to babies in-utero?

UChicago reports that it is unknown whether or not a pregnant person can pass the virus to an unborn child. Limited cases have shown no evidence. After your baby is born, those who test positive should wear a mask when they are within six feet of your baby or while breastfeeding.

Changes to your pregnancy plan

Prenatal visits, birthing plans and more, how will COVID-19 will affect your prenatal and birthing plans?

Should I keep my pre-natal appointments?

Both University of Chicago Medicine and Henry Ford Health System are encouraging the use of telehealth when possible. Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns or questions about this option.

Is it safe to give birth in the hospital?

Both Henry Ford and UChicago have taken steps to ensure that people in their hospitals are safe from COVID-19. Patients that have tested positive are being held in isolation rooms, and all staff members are following CDC recommendations, including the use of masks, shields, gloves and gowns.

If you are still concerned, Henry Ford suggests talking to your OB-GYN for more options.

Who can visit those in labor?

Both Henry Ford and UChicago are limiting visitors into their hospitals. Therefore, those in labor are allowed one support person to stay with you during your birthing experience and you can’t change your support person.

What happens when you get to the hospital?

At Henry Ford, all patients and visitors are screened at the hospital’s main entrance. Screening includes questions about fever and travel history, known exposures, symptoms and more. Those who pass the screening will be provided a mask and escorted to the Labor and Delivery unit.

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