Frequently Asked Questions on Pregnancy and COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
What is COVID-19?
- This is a virus
- The most common symptoms are similar to the flu and include shortness of breath, fever, and cough
- Some people can have little to no symptoms
- Severe cases can result in pneumonia, respiratory failure, and death
How is COVID-19 spread?
- By person-to-person contact
How can I protect myself from COVID-19?
- Practice social distancing - 6 feet apart at a minimum
- Avoid large groups
- Avoid close contact with anyone who has symptoms such as coughing or sneezing
- Wash your hands frequently and for at least 20 seconds
- Avoid touching your face, especially your eyes, nose, and mouth
Symptoms and What to Do
I’m feeling sick, what should I do?
- Symptoms of COVID-19
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
- First, do not panic. Most people recover from this illness
- Please call 507-646-1478 before coming in
- If your symptoms are mild, we will recommend staying at home, resting, and using medicine such as Tylenol to help with fever and muscle aches
- You can use Robitussin or Mucinex or their equivalent to help with cough
- Cough drops are safe to use
- We would recommend coming in if you develop shortness of breath, persistent pain and pressure in your chest, confusion or unable to wake up easily, blue lips or face
- Patients with undiagnosed fever cough, shortness of breath should ALL self-quarantine. Please follow the CDC guidelines on how to discontinue home isolation.
- Anyone with symptoms should isolate themselves from household members and intimate contacts
- Household members and intimate contacts should limit their own activities in public for 14 days, and monitor for symptoms
Can I get tested for COVID-19?
- Learn more about the latest on testing.
How will COVID-19 affect my pregnancy?
- New information is quickly coming regarding COVID-19
- Very little is known about the effect of COVID-19 on pregnancy
- We do not currently know if pregnant women have a greater chance of getting sick from COVID-19 than the general public nor whether they are more likely to have serious illness as a result
- There is no published data on the effects of COVID-19 on fertility, miscarriage rate, or birth defects
Will my prenatal care change?
- While this virus is active in the community, we have adopted a modified prenatal schedule. This will include a first OB visit, 16 week visit, 20 week visit with anatomy ultrasound, 28 week visit with sugar test, 32-33 week visit, and then weekly from 36 weeks on.
- If your pregnancy has a high risk appointment, we may need to see you more frequently
- Once you reach 36 weeks, we recommend stopping work until delivery to reduce your chance of contracting the virus just before you are due to deliver.
- Additionally, we plan to do all 2 week and 6 week postpartum visits over the phone
- If you have any concerns and would like to be seen in the office, we will see you as long as it is safe
Who can come to my prenatal visits?
- Only the patient can come at this time. No visitors allowed
Can I get a doctor’s note to be home to protect my pregnancy?
- We currently provide notes for patients over 36 weeks
- Additionally, if you are working in health care, we can provide a note recommending you avoid working directly with COVID-19 positive patients
Should I close my daycare?
- There is no clear guidance on this and will have to be made on an individual basis
- There is some guidance on the CDC to help reduce transmission
Labor and Delivery
How is my experience on labor and delivery different?
- Please call the birth center 507-646-1205 before coming to the hospital. You and your support person will be screened via telephone prior to arrival for COVID-19 symptoms. Your support person must be symptom-free.
- You may be evaluated in our Emergency Department prior to arriving to the Birth Center.
- We will care for you even if you have symptoms consistent with COVID-19. We’ll take additional precautions as part of your care
- You can choose many options for your labor, including midwife care, birthing ball, whirlpool tub, birth chair, squat bar, epidural, and natural childbirth support. The use of nitrous oxide not available at this time.
- Your room door will be closed at all times and we cannot have you or your partner walking around the hallways.
- If you need something from our nutrition center our nursing team will help.
What are the visitor restrictions?
- Birth Center patients may have one adult visitor as their designated support person. This person must be symptom-free, must be the same person for your entire stay and is encouraged to stay overnight
- The Birth Center also permits one doula (or labor support person) for the labor, and for two hours after delivery. If the Birth Center patient has or may have COVID, the doula/labor support person will not be allowed. The doula/support person must be symptom free.
- If the parent of the child being born is under 18, that parent may attend the delivery; must be symptom-free. This is the designated support person for the full stay in the Birth Center.
Can my newborn get COVID-19?
- It is unclear if newborns can become infected with COVID-19. We protect newborns from exposure, just as we do with other viruses (such as influenza). If you’re sick, it’s important to wash your hands thoroughly and frequently, and wear a mask while caring for your baby.
- After your baby is born, one of our pediatric providers will see your child every day and talk to you about their care.
Can I breastfeed if I have COVID-19?
While there is very limited data available, current research has not found the virus in any samples of breastmilk studied. If you have respiratory symptoms (cough, fever, trouble breathing), we recommend frequent handwashing, washing your breast prior to feeding, and wearing a mask while nursing.
Can I come in to review my Birth Plan and Tour the Birth Center before I deliver?
At this time, we are not offering tours of our Birth Center. We have a virtual tour you can view. Please fill out your Birth Plan in your education folder. You can turn it in at a prenatal appointment or bring it with you when you come in to deliver. Your nurse will review and discuss it with you at that time. If you have specific questions, please ask your OB Provider at one of your prenatal appointments.