Pregnancy is already a nerve-wracking time for expectant mothers and families, but the coronavirus pandemic is taking this to a whole other level. For many, the momentous experience and joy of new life is overshadowed by fear and uncertainty.
There is still much unknown about COVID-19. According to the Centers for Disease Control, pregnant women don't seem to be any more or less at risk than the general public, but pregnancy generally is associated with higher risk for serious illness from respiratory infections like the flu.
Many providers are now favoring telehealth appointments over office visits for prenatal care but in-person visits can't be completely avoided, especially for at-risk and late-term pregnancies.
Expectant parents are having to adapt. Hospitals are taking various precautions for pregnant patients such as limiting visitors and even separating spouses during labor and delivery.
Mothers-to-be are creating custom birth plans in line with this new reality. Some are considering alternatives like a home birth or birthing center.
What should expecting mothers and families know and do during the health crisis? What are doctors, midwives and hospitals doing to keep women and their babies safe?
Can COVID-19 cause pregnancy complications? How long should you practice social distancing after giving birth?
Can pregnant women get tested for coronavirus if they don't have symptoms? Would a vaccine be safe for someone who is pregnant?
What do experts say about mother-to-child transmission and how to treat pregnant women infected with the coronavirus? What about breastfeeding?
Where can pregnant women and their families get extra support at this unprecedented time? What resources are available?
- Marina Starleaf Riker, reporter for the San Antonio Express-News
- Patrick Ramsey, M.D., professor of obstetrics and gynecology, and maternal-fetal specialist at UT Health San Antonio
- Alisa Godfrey LM, CPM, clinical director at the San Antonio Birth Center
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*This interview was recorded on Monday, May 4.
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