Pregnancy Planning

If you've gotten pregnant at this time, you may be feeling a spectrum of emotions. Below are answers to common concerns we've heard from the fertility community during this time of COVID-19.

As a pregnant woman, should I be tested for COVID-19? Should my family be tested?

If you or someone in your family has symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath), testing will likely be recommended. Call your healthcare provider right away. The CDC offers testing guidance for COVID-19 here. 

As a pregnant woman, am I considered higher risk for COVID-19?
We do not currently know if pregnant women have a greater chance of getting sick from COVID-19 than the general public nor whether they are more likely to have serious illness as a result. Please reach out to your obstetrician or midwife for definitive guidance.  
What should I do if I’m pregnant and test positive for COVID-19?

If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately. Emergency warning signs include:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to arouse
  • Bluish lips or face

This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your healthcare provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.

Can I pass COVID-19 to my baby during pregnancy?
We still do not know if a pregnant woman with COVID-19 can pass the virus that causes COVID-19 to her baby during pregnancy or delivery.
As a pregnant woman, how can I protect myself from COVID-19?

At this time, there’s no vaccine for COVID-19, but there are ways to protect yourself and your family from exposure to the virus.  Pregnant women should do the same things as the general public to avoid infection:

  • Stay home when you’re sick and avoid people who are sick
  • Cover your cough (using your elbow is a good technique)
  • Try not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth
  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol
  • Clean and disinfect objects you touch regularly and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe. Use hot, soapy water or a dishwasher to wash dishes and utensils.
  • Talk to your health care provider about your health and risk of COVID-19
What can I do for my physical and mental wellness during pregnancy?

As information about Coronavirus unfolds, there can be a wide range of thoughts, feelings and reactions.

 

Get the facts. Stay informed with the latest health information per the CDC:  https://www.cdc.gov/.  COVID-19 and pregnancy specific information may be found here:  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/pregnancy-breastfeeding.html.

 

Keep things in perspective. Limit worry and agitation by lessening the time you spend watching or listening to upsetting media coverage.  Remember to take a break from watching the news and focus on the things that are positive in your life and things you have control over.

 

Be mindful of your assumptions about others. Someone who has a cough or a fever does not necessarily have coronavirus. Self-awareness is important in not stigmatizing others in our community.

 

Stay healthy. Adopting healthy hygienic habits such as frequently washing your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available, and certainly after sneezing or before/after touching your face or a sick person. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.  Avoid contact with others who are sick and stay home when you are sick.

 

Maintain a healthy daily routine.  Take a shower, eat healthy foods, drink plenty of water and get a good night’s sleep.  Here are some ways to improve your perinatal mental health: 

  1. Start your day with protein
  2. Nourish your brain with fish oil
  3. Don’t stop taking your prenatal supplement, especially if nursing
  4. Supplement with additional vitamin D
  5. Don’t fear fat
  6. Don’t skip meals
  7. Avoid “naked carbs”
  8. Consider making a sugar shift
  9. Support your gut
  10. Consider food sensitivities/allergies

More information can be found here: https://www.wholemamasclub.com/nutrition-perinatal-mental-health/.

 

Keep connected. Talk to your partner, family and/or friends about how you’re feeling.  Maintaining social networks can help maintain a sense of normalcy and provide valuable outlets for sharing feelings and relieving stress.

I’m anxious about COVID-19, who can I talk to?

Know you are not alone. Staying connected with friends and family in a virtual way is important. Reach out, share your story and talk to other expecting and new moms online.  Use PSI Support Groups (https://www.postpartum.net/get-help/psi-online-support-meetings/) and/or seek additional help.  Individuals who feel overwhelming worry or anxiety are encouraged to talk to their obstetrician and may seek additional professional mental health support.

 

Free Relaxation Apps

Moodfit

Whether you’re experiencing anxiety, depression, or high levels of stress, Moodfit is designed to help you feel better.

Apple, Google

MoodMission

MoodMission recommends ‘missions’ based on how the user is feeling and each mission can improve mood and coping skills.

Apple, Google

Talkspace

Talkspace connects you with a licensed mental health professional so you can receive therapy from your digital devices.

Apple, Google

Sanvello

Sanvello teaches mindfulness skills and provides mood and health tracking tools that can be used to improve mental and physical health.

Apple, Google

Headspace

Headspace was started by Andy Puddicombe, a Buddhist monk who made it his mission to teach meditation and mindfulness to as many people as possible.

Apple, Google

Happify

Happify provides science-based activities and games that are meant to reduce stress, build resilience, and overcome negative thoughts.

Apple, Google

Is it safe for me to come to the hospital to give birth?

Our hospitals are the safest place to give birth.  Extensive precautions are taken with every patient to prevent the spread of infection.  Our staff are trained on how best to prevent infection, as well as to be able to provide the labor support and guidance you need during your birth.  In addition, we are prepared to respond to any complications that may occur during labor and birth for both healthy women and those that have higher-risk pregnancies.

Hospitals are taking every precaution to ensure that both staff and patients are protected. While much is still being learned about COVID-19, the health and safety of pregnant patients is and has always been the top priority. Every birth is unique, and hospitals will continue to ensure a safe environment for the most important moments in a mother’s life. 

Before you arrive at the hospital, we want to make you aware of a few additional precautionary steps that most are taking at this time. There are a number of screening questions in place for all patients and visitors before entering the building. Again, this is precautionary and helps maintain the safety of all involved, and limits the spread of any potential infectious illnesses. 

How will my birth experience be different if I have tested positive for COVID-19?
If you are (or potentially could be) COVID-19 positive when you deliver, your facility will implement the latest CDC guidance to ensure you and your baby are safe.  Know that the hospital is still the safest place for you to deliver your baby.
If I am scheduled for an elective induction and have a fever, can I still have my baby?

Contact your healthcare provider for guidance.  Your safety is the top priority.

Will I be able to have a support person with me during labor?
Refer to each facility website for policy specifics. For the health and safety of all, most hospitals have restricted non-essential visitors.  Laboring moms/new moms may still have one birth partner (aka your visitor) while you are in the hospital with. It will need to be the same visitor the whole time you are with us.  This is to prevent the number of people in and out of the rooms and exposure.   For the safety of mom and baby, a support person may not be COVID-19 positive.
Can I FaceTime during my labor or use another App?
We know this is an important experience to share with family.  We encourage you to use your personal device and connect with loved ones not able to be with you in the hospital. If your support person is feeling under-the weather or you want a 2nd support person, you can FaceTime with them through your own device.
I have other kids—what do I do about them when I am in the hospital?
Children are not allowed in the hospital at this time.  It is important for you to make safe childcare plans for your children, as well as backup plans in case the person you had planned to watch your children gets sick.
Can COVID-19 be transmitted through breast milk?
Currently, there is no evidence that COVID-19 transmits through breastmilk.  Refer to and follow CDC guidance.
Once I return home, how can I protect my baby from COVID-19?

At this time, there’s no vaccine for COVID-19, but there are ways to protect yourself and your baby from exposure to the virus.  Once home, we encourage you to limit the number of visitors coming into the home and leverage technology to connect with loved ones (ex:  FaceTime, Skype or Zoom).

To avoid infection:

  • Stay home when you’re sick and avoid people who are sick
  • Cover your cough (using your elbow is a good technique)
  • Try not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth
  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol
  • Clean and disinfect objects you touch regularly and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe. Use hot, soapy water or a dishwasher to wash dishes and utensils.
  • Talk to your health care provider about your health and risk of COVID-19