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Tips for women who are pregnant during the coronavirus pandemic

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Posted at 1:14 PM, Apr 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-24 15:14:14-04

Medical professionals don’t want pregnant women to change their birth plans because of the coronavirus pandemic, because hospitals and accredited birth centers are still the safest places to deliver.

"What I've found is it's not necessarily the woman that's worried, it's her family members and friends who are telling her, ‘you know you shouldn't go to the hospital,’” said Dr. Shannon Clark, Professor of Maternal Fetal Medicine, University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. “You know, if there's questions still, she should talk to her obstetrical provider and ask, ‘what are you doing at the hospital to protect me?’"

Pregnant women should find out what those protection policies are. Dr. Clark has a list of important points each patient should know:

· Hospitals may be limiting the number of visitors or using designated entrances with screenings.
· If you have other kids, she says you should also have a plan B just in case you need to be isolated.
· Also, know the symptoms of COVID-19 and if you think you might have it, call your doctor.

Pregnant women appear to have the same risk as other adults for catching the virus. Based on what we know so far, it's highly unlikely it can be passed from mom-to-baby before delivery.

"The biggest risk would be if the mom is positive and she is symptomatic and she has a newborn, and the newborn gets exposed,” said Dr. Clark. “So, depending on how sick the mom is, can depend on whether or not that newborn should be with mom, and it has to be, that decision can only be made after delivery."

Dr. Clark says women should also know that prenatal care may look a little different than they're used to.

If you're early in pregnancy, ask if you should expect changes in your appointments.