As Doulas, we try to prepare our clients as best as we can for the upcoming birth of their babies. Good preparation helps for easier & shorter labor
The coronavirus & pregnancy
Research into the coronavirus is still in progress. Having the coronavirus while pregnant doesn’t seem to be different from having it and not being pregnant. So, there is no reason to assume that you are more at risk if you are pregnant.
It is true that you are more likely to become seriously ill if you have a disorder of your heart, lungs or immune system. In that case, pay extra attention to complaints and seek help when needed.
The coronavirus and your upcoming birth……….
If you are close to your due date during the coronavirus outbreak, you may have questions about your upcoming birth.
In general the following applies:
Home birth & coronavirus infection…..
Little is know about possible problems that COVID-19 can pose during labor. Are you about to give birth and are you infected with the coronavirus? The advice is to give birth in the hospital. During a home birth, no immediate medical attention is available. In the hospital, your baby can be monitored. Your doctor can also immediately intervene in case of a health problem.
Have you recovered by now and was the coronavirus infection more than 2 weeks ago? Then a hospital birth is not necessary.
Giving birth with the coronavirus: how is that going?
Caregivers take precautions if a patient is infected. This ensures that they don’t become infected and that the virus doesn’t spread. During delivery you will be isolated from the rest.
As few care providers as possible will enter the room and they will wear protective suits and masks. You and your baby’s health will be monitored. The birth itself won’t be more different than usual. A natural birth is still possible and also an epidural. Birth in the tub is not recommended, because the risk of spreading the virus is greater. Your child may remain in the isolation room with you after delivery, unless there is a medical reason for admitting him to the neonatology department.
If your partner has symptoms, he/she won’t be allowed to be there with you. If your partner doesn’t have symptoms it’s necessary to wear a mouth mask and to wash the hands thoroughly.
Infected with the coronavirus & cesarean section……
If you have a planned cesarean section or induction, it’s possible that it will be postponed if you are infected - if it’s safe to do so. This minimizes the risk of the virus spreading. If it’s not possible to postpone the induction or cesarean section, you will be admitted to an isolation room after the cesarean section.
Risk of infection to your baby while having the coronavirus during delivery…
As far as scientists now know, the virus is not easily transmitted to the fetus during pregnancy or delivery. A small survey of nine women who gave birth, found out that none of their babies had the virus. No virus particles were also found in the amniotic fluid, umbilical cord blood & breast milk.
This doesn’t mean that your baby can’t become infected after the delivery. After all, you will hug and hold him a lot. Your baby will therefore be tested for COVID-19 and is closely monitored after the birth.
Risk of the coronavirus for a newborn baby…….
You probably cannot pass the virus on to your baby during pregnancy. A recent Chines study shows indications that your baby may develop health problems if you are infected with the coronavirus during pregnancy. A possible cause is that your child lacks oxygen during pregnancy due to your illness. Whether this is really the case and whether this has to do with the coronavirus needs further research.
After delivery, your baby can become infected through contact with you. The chance that he will get very sick from this seems very little. Until now, it appears that a COVID-19 infection in children is mild.
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By: Nathalie Grolleman
(202) 279 1089