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Silver Cross Hospital president and chief executive officer Ruth Colby recently sat down with obstetrician/gynecologist Dr. Gamilah Pierre of Partners in Obstetrics & Women’s Health to discuss pregnancy and giving birth during the COVID-19 pandemic in a a new nine-minute video.
to a COVID-19 patient
Expectant moms who have been exposed to someone who is known to have the virus should follow all recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including monitoring for symptoms and isolating for 14 days.
“The American College of Gynecology has not seen any vertical transmission of the virus between mother and baby, though if during pregnancy, the mother does contract COVID-19, they may become a little bit sicker than a non-pregnant patient,” Pierre said in a news release from Silver Cross.
“However, most pregnant women are relatively healthy and young, so they tend to do just fine and may have typical flu-like symptoms. We would monitor her situation and treat the symptoms appropriately.”
Routine check-ups – should they continue?
Pierre recommends expectant moms contact their obstetricians and take their lead on keeping or spacing out your routine visits.
“In some early pregnancies, we may be able to space out your routine prenatal appointment; as opposed to being every four weeks, your doctor might recommend coming in every six weeks,” Pierre said in the release. “But before you make that decision, reach out to your provider and follow their recommendations.”
Support person with mom during labor and delivery
“At this time, we encourage you to have your support person and your certified doula, a birth coach, with you during this stressful, yet exciting time here at the hospital.” Pierre said in the release. “That person will be screened for symptoms and receive a wristband upon entering the hospital.”
But she added, “Once that person has been banded, you cannot change your support person.”
Is breastfeeding still recommended for those exposed to COVID-19?
Pierre feels breast milk is still best for baby.
“If you have been exposed, we highly recommend some type of a barrier between you and your baby,” she said in the release. “Use a mask and wash your hands and skin.”
Though if you are COVID-19 positive, she recommends pumping first, transferring the milk to a sanitized bottle and feeding your baby with the breast milk from the bottle.