Pregnancy in a Global Pandemic
Feb 13, 2021
If you are pregnant during the COVID19 global pandemic, you may be experiencing heightened health fears and anxieties. Though current data regarding the effects of COVID19 in pregnancy are limited, the dedicated providers at all OBGA facilities are staying abreast of the most current information and recommendations to keep you and your growing family as safe and informed as possible.
How does COVID19 affect pregnancy?
Perhaps the most reassuring fact to know is that the risk of severe disease from COVID19 in pregnancy is low. Preliminary data has shown COVID19 has not been associated with an increased risk of miscarriage or birth defects.
Despite this reassuring information, it is important to minimize your risk of exposure as:
- Pregnancy increases the risk of severe illness and death from COVID19.
- COVID19 in pregnancy increases the risk for preterm delivery.
- High fevers in pregnancy (especially during the first trimester) can increase the risk of birth defects.
What should I do to limit my COVID19 exposure?
- Ask your provider if there are any specific measures you should take based on your level of risk at work.
How will COVID19 restrictions in health care offices affect my prenatal care?
Your prenatal care can continue largely unchanged, though you may be offered a slightly different schedule of care or even some telehealth visits.
Do not skip your prenatal visits. All OBGA offices are following recommended CDC guidance to keep you safe during your prenatal care, and many of our staff have already been vaccinated.
Follow the above listed precautions to limit your COVID19 exposure when you do go to your prenatal appointments.
- Know that there may be restrictions on visitors allowed at your prenatal appointments and at your delivery.
What should I do If I contract COVID19 during pregnancy?
If you have symptoms of COVID19, contact your provider right away. They will inform you of next steps including testing, quarantine times, and review the plan of care.
- If you have an upcoming appointment it may be delayed for the safety of other patients.
- If you require weekly prenatal testing, you may have to go to the hospital for this testing instead of your doctor’s office.
Should I get the COVID19 vaccine while pregnant?
Pregnant individuals were not included in the initial vaccine trials, so data regarding vaccine safety in pregnancy is limited. Experts agree that pregnancy should not exclude you from receiving a vaccine. A vaccine may prevent you from getting sick which could help both you and your fetus.
Whether or not you choose to receive the vaccine should be an individual decision made in consultation with your OBGA provider taking into consideration your risk of exposure and potential risks of the vaccine. Speak with your trusted OB provider to determine what is the safest course for your pregnancy.