Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Pregnancy:  An Update

Written by: Dr. Julian Terry

By now, everyone is aware of the novel Coronavirus, COVID-19, which has caused this pandemic, but there are still many questions that I am asked frequently.  I hope this will help clear up some of the concerns of pregnant women in NWA.  

How does COVID-19 affect pregnant women?

Pregnant women do not appear to be more susceptible to becoming infected or to developing more severe disease than the general public. 

How does COVID-19 affect the unborn child?

We have much to learn about this virus and its potential effects, but currently it is not thought to be transmitted to the fetus during pregnancy, labor or delivery.  Much more research is needed.  Breastfeeding recommendations have not changed and it is still strongly encouraged.  

How can pregnant women avoid the Coronavirus?

  1. Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or with thorough application of hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol
  2. Avoid touching your face as much as possible and do so after cleaning your hands
  3. Stay home as much as possible 
  4. Practice SOCIAL DISTANCING, staying 6 feet away from others (wear face covering when in public and especially when social distancing can’t be maintained)
  5. Avoid people that are sick and large crowds

See all of the prevention tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

What can pregnant women expect during delivery at WRMC? 

  1. If admitted for a scheduled induction of labor or c-section, the patient will be COVID tested in the outpatient setting prior to admission.  If admitted in labor, the patient will be tested upon admission.  
  2. The patient will be allowed one support person throughout her hospitalization and that person cannot change out for another person during the entire stay.  
  3. The patient and the support person will be required to wear a mask at all times (even delivery) when the care team is present. 
  4. The patient and the support person will be encouraged to remain in the room as much as possible.  The support person will be provided meals as well and will be encouraged to remain in hospital.  
  5. The use of Nitrous Oxide for pain management is prohibited at this time.  

If you have any other questions please discuss with your healthcare team.