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 fever, cough, and shortness of breath
- 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?
- 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 for 7 days after they first become ill – or for 72 hours after symptoms improve and they are fever-free without medications – whichever is longer
- 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?
- Currently we have very limited tests available
- Whether you get tested will be determined if you are evaluated for symptoms of COVID-19
- Not all people with symptoms are currently being tested
How will COVID-19 affect my pregnancy?
- New information is quickly coming regarding COVID-19
- Very little is known about the effect of the novel 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
- We will still care for you even if you have symptoms consistent with COVID-19
- You and your support person will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms
- You may be evaluated in our ER prior to arriving to the OB unit
- Unfortunately, we can only allow one support person in the room with you during your labor process even if you don’t have symptoms of the virus. We understand that this is frustrating and disappointing, however we need to keep you, your newborn, and our staff safe and reduce the spread of the virus.
- 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.
Can my newborn get COVID-19?
- In limited recent case series of infants born to mothers infected with COVID-19 published in the peer-reviewed literature, none of the infants have tested positive for COVID-19
Can I breastfeed if I have COVID-19?
- There is very limited data available
- Current studies that have looked at sample of breastmilk have not found the virus in any samples
- If you have respiratory symptoms, we will recommend frequent handwashing and wearing a mask while nursing
What is the best way to communicate my concerns?
- Sign up for MyHealth Info