So, you’ve just found out you’re pregnant. Congratulations! This can be a time of excitement and uncertainty for many reasons, but being pregnant during a pandemic may bring on a whole new set of concerns. Not to worry. At AdventHealth for Women, we have added additional support to help you through this new chapter.
Pregnancy and Coronavirus
If you begin to notice yourself having any symptoms of coronavirus, such as a fever, cough and shortness of breath, it’s important to call your doctor right away, but at this time, there is not a lot of research surrounding pregnancy and coronavirus. “We know from other coronaviruses, such as MERs and SARs, that pregnancy does make women more at risk of severe pneumonia,” says AdventHealth Medical Group Medical Director of obstetrics and gynecology, D. Ashley Hill, MD.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) agrees and advises: “Pregnant women experience changes in their bodies that may increase their risk of some infections. With viruses from the same family as COVID-19, and other viral respiratory infections, such as influenza, women have had a higher risk of developing severe illness.” They also recommend that it is always important for pregnant women to protect themselves from illnesses.
Protecting Yourself From Coronavirus
Women who are pregnant can take the same steps as the general public to prevent the spread of coronavirus, such as:
- Avoiding people who are sick
- Covering your cough
- Washing your hands often, for at least 20 seconds, using soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer
The CDC advises that they don’t currently know if a pregnant woman who has coronavirus would cause problems during pregnancy or affect the baby after birth. However, taking all necessary precautions to prevent germ spread will hopefully prevent you from contracting the virus.
This means staying away from others as much as possible, especially those who are sick. Limiting your trips to shopping malls and other crowded places is a good idea during this time, or, better yet, ask a family member to run errands. And because there is so much unknown still surrounding coronavirus, we’ve updated our policies at AdventHealth to limit visitors and guests in appointments.
Doctor’s Visits and Resources
“At this time, we are encouraging patients to limit the number of people they bring with them, and this will usually mean zero to one person, depending on the office and circumstance,” Dr. Hill explained. Before attending an in-person doctor’s appointment, please call ahead to the office if you plan to bring anyone else with you.
AdventHealth Medical Group has recently started offering alternative visits, either by telephone or video, in order to decrease the need for patients to travel. Dr. Hill and his team have found that virtual visits are very useful, especially for women early on in pregnancy. “Later during pregnancy, when we need to do things like measure Mom’s belly, it is more crucial to come to the office in person. But during the first trimester, virtual visits are a way to provide care while helping patients perform social isolation,” says Dr. Hill.
Since we are committed to providing a safe, healing environment for our patients, staff and visitors, and because of rapidly changing conditions due to coronavirus, we feel it is in the best interest of our patients to cancel all in-person classes and tours. However, we have several virtual options available and you will have the opportunity to speak to a Birth Experience Coordinator at your convenience to answer any questions you may have surrounding your pregnancy. Please note the following virtual options for your care:
- Virtual tour including a phone consult with Birth Experience Coordinator.
- Online class information and educational resources via the Baby Place Academy App.
- If you had any classes scheduled, you may reschedule classes for a later date.
Information surrounding coronavirus is constantly updating and evolving, so we ask that you stay up-to-date by visiting CoronavirusResourceHub.com, as well as the CDC.