This post is sponsored by Baptist Health South Florida.
As mothers, we understand that being pregnant during COVID-19 can evoke anxiety. At Miami Moms Blog, our aim is to encourage, equip, and empower local Moms with relevant resources and a meaningful community. We have teamed up with Baptist Health South Florida to answer your questions related to pregnancy, labor, and delivery during a global pandemic.
One of our Contributors, Jackie Aviles, recently visited with Dr. Ellen Schwartzbard, a seasoned OB-GYN. We find encouragement and relief after learning more from Dr. Schwartzbard about what the research shows in relation to COVID-19 and pregnancy.
Areas of Concern for Mother and Baby if a Mother Tests Positive for COVID-19
Because COVID-19 is a new virus, we are learning new information every day. Dr. Schwartzbard shared that, in general, respiratory viruses can be more dangerous for pregnant women. However, reassuringly, the current research does not show that pregnant women are getting any sicker with COVID-19 compared to the general population. Additionally, the negative impact on babies has not been shown to be as harmful as other viruses including Zika.
There is uncertain data that has shown some preterm labor. However, there is encouragement that there hasn’t been anything horribly negative to mothers or babies as a result of COVID-19.
How COVID-19 Impacts Newborns
According to Dr. Schwartzbard, there hasn’t been an abundance of reports of transmission of COVID-19 passed on to baby in utero. However, the virus can be transmitted post-delivery if a mother is not taking precautions such as hand washing. Mothers who test positive in the hospital are separated from babies at birth. This initial bonding time is so crucial. Therefore, Dr. Schwartzbard urges pregnant women to take every precaution to avoid getting COVID-19 at the time of their delivery.
She also recommends breastfeeding and suggests that there is no issue with breastfeeding your baby if a mother does have COVID-19.
Preparing for Delivery During COVID-19
Telemedicine’s popularity is definitely on the rise during these challenging times. Some OB-GYN offices may offer telemedicine for certain prenatal visits. Check with your office for your options for telehealth visits during your pregnancy.
Dr. Schwartzbard suggests that pregnant women should do all that they can to avoid contracting COVID-19 prior to delivery. She encourages women to heed all of the CDC precautions. Social distancing, hand-washing, and avoiding unnecessary outings are important precautions to help prevent expectant mothers from getting the virus.
At Baptist Hospital, all moms are being tested when they come in for delivery. Moms can expect to receive a rapid swab test and be separated from their partner until their results come back negative. The visitation policy is always changing. Be sure to check with your hospital for their visitation policies and procedures. Mothers are encouraged to be aware of any guests who may visit the hospital and if they have been exposed to anyone with the virus.
Encouragement for Those Pregnant During COVID-19
Dr. Schwartzbard implores everyone to stay safe but still reach out to your support system. As this is a difficult time and people are staying home more, postpartum depression is something that can happen more frequently. Whether it’s a Zoom Call, FaceTime or a phone call, it is important to not lose touch, but still stay safe.
Click the video below to watch the full interview with Dr. Schwartzbard.