I’m almost due what do I do?
You are 39 weeks.
You know it’s almost time to deliver.
You’ve taken the birthing classes.
You have your hospital bag packed.
You thought you had it all figured out.
Your parents drove in from out of town. Your husband’s parents did too. You wanted your daughter in the delivery room. You wanted your best friend in the room with you.
But now things are different.
Things are changing readily. And we are getting new information every day.
This is not what you expected.
There are rules.
You’re not just worried about yourself but about your unborn child. I get it. This was supposed to be a wonderful experience. You have many questions. My best advice:
Your labor and delivery process can still be an amazing experience, even with visitor restrictions.
Why can’t I have all of my family in the room?
Social distancing. To ensure the safety of all the patients on labor and delivery we must limit the amount of people who are in your room. We know this is a special time for you but we also have to take proper precautions to ensure the safety of everyone. Especially you and your infant.
Do I still need to go to my OB visits?
This is provider dependent. For us, and many other providers we are currently keeping regularly scheduled OB appointments. You will be screened on arrival with a temperature check and a series of questions. Many offices are requesting no young children and to either come alone or with just one support person. Staff are extra diligent about cleaning commonly used surfaces such as door handles.
What will happen on my delivery day?
On your day of delivery you will proceed to the hospital. Most hospitals are instituting a temperature check and a series of questions querying your travel, contacts as well as other security measures before you enter. If you have no risk factors you will go to a room with just one support person.
Will I need a C section?
Unless your C section is indicated for another medical reason there is no current data to indicate that. Vaginal delivery is still recommended. Remember, current sample sizes in published literature are still very small and there isn’t enough current data to recommend a certain mode of delivery at this time.
Can I still do skin to skin?
Yes! As long as you are not a PUI (person under suspicion) or are known to be positive for COVID-19. We encourage skin to skin for all mothers.
Can my infant breastfeed?
Yes! Again as long as you are not confirmed to have the virus or be a PUI person under suspicion. We know that COVID-19 is spread mainly through respiratory droplets. There are limited studies but currently COVID-19 has not yet been detected in breast milk. However, if you are confirmed to have COVID-19 or are a PUI, the recommendation is to take necessary precautions to not pass the virus to your child. This includes wearing a face mask, diligent hand washing prior to touching your infant and proper pump cleaning. You can also have someone who is not sick feed your infant.
The CDC is also suggesting hospitals consider a temporary separation (with separate rooms) if a mother has a confirmed case or is a PUI. This is not taken lightly. No one ever wants to separate mother and baby and these crucial decisions are made by the healthcare team depending on each individual case. The decision on when to discontinue the separation and bring infant and mother back together is also individualized and made by the healthcare team depending on the case.
Overall, your experience can and will still be an amazing one. Do not allow the fears of everything that is happening ruin your pregnancy experience. This can and still will be a beautiful memory for you. It is such a blessing to bring a child into the world and we want to make sure you do it in the safest way possible.
As a reminder, continue to diligently wash your hands. Try not to touch your face. Try to avoid unnecessary travel. Yes, even the baby moon. Remember, we are all in this together.
If you would like more information on COVID-19 in pregnancy please visit cdc.gov