COVID-19 and Pregnancy
Article originally published April 30, 2020.
Fairfield Medical Center is taking steps to keep you and your baby safe and help prevent the spread of COVID-19.Below is information regarding the COVID-19 virus and and how it is currently understood to affect women who are pregnant.
To learn more about Fairfield Medical Center’s response to COVID-19, please click here.
COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus, and information regarding the virus is constantly changing. For the most up-to-date information, please review CDC guidelines regarding pregnancy and COVID-19, which can be found here.
Based on the Center for Disease Control (CDC), pregnant people might be at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 compared to non-pregnant people. Additionally, there may be an increased risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes, such as preterm birth, among pregnant people with COVID-19. Therefore, if you are pregnant, be mindful about reducing your risk of getting sick. Take additional steps to protect you and your baby by washing your hands frequently, wearing a face covering and limiting interactions in the public.
Protecting yourself from illness during pregnancy is always important, but it is at the forefront of our minds during this time. Some of the easiest – and most effective – ways to stay healthy include thorough and frequent hand washing throughout the day, keeping your hands away from your face and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces daily. If you have to go out in public, do so only when necessary, and use proper social distancing techniques to help prevent becoming sick. Additionally, avoid contact with anyone who is ill or who may have come into contact with someone who has the virus, even if this is a friend or family member.
With healthcare concerns of any kind, it is best to contact your healthcare provider. If you suspect you may have contracted COVID-19, call your primary care provider and your OB/GYN to receive further instruction. You may also contact the Fairfield Medical Center COVID-19 Call Center at 740-687-8818.
Do not cancel your regularly scheduled appointments without first speaking to your healthcare provider. If you are concerned about visiting the office, we recommend calling to learn more about the precautions they have implemented to help keep you safe. Obstetrical care is considered essential, and it’s important to maintain routine check-ups for the health and safety of you and your baby.
Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, we are limiting visitor access within the hospital. As a maternity patient, you may have one support person accompanying you throughout your stay. This person will receive an armband, which will allow them access to the maternity unit as long as they are symptom-free. This support person cannot be replaced or interchanged.
Additionally, we recommend limiting the amount of time spent outside your room to brief walks in the maternity hallway, and maintaining social distancing from other patients and staff members (when appropriate). For your own safety and the safety of others, please make a staff member aware if you are experiencing any concerning symptoms during your stay.
Our obstetricians and pediatricians work together to provide the safest and most appropriate care for each family. The Maternity Team will take your preferences, as well as the health and stability of you and your baby, into account when determining your length of stay. We encourage you to discuss any concerns you may have with your obstetrician.
We recognize the significant impact that spending time with your newborn can have on breastfeeding, emotional health and bonding. In the event you are COVID-19 positive at the time of delivery, you and your healthcare provider will work together to determine the best plan of action following baby’s arrival. Some factors that may influence this decision include maternal preference, physician’s advice and severity of illness. At Fairfield Medical Center, we strive to keep mom and baby together as long as it is safe to do so.
Current data suggests mother-to-child transmission of coronavirus while you are still pregnant is unlikely. After birth, however, a newborn may become ill if exposed to caregivers who are sick.
To date, studies have not detected the novel coronavirus in breastmilk. If you are sick and choose to breastfeed, however, you should wear a face covering and practice proper hand hygiene. During this time, we encourage you to bring your own breast pump with you to the hospital. As always, be sure you are following proper recommendations for pump washing and pump use, including washing your hands before touching any pump or bottle parts and before expressing breast milk.
All maternity classes have resumed and are in-person. Masking and social distancing will be required to ensure the safety of attendees and our instructors. Class sizes are limited. If you have specific questions, don’t hesitate to ask; we encourage you to call 740-687-8218 to register for a class or check out the calendar of events page here.
We have a virtual tour of our Maternity Department available online, which you can find here.
Fairfield Medical Center recognizes the CDC recommendations regarding travel. Because it’s difficult to maintain social distancing, crowded travel settings – like airports – may increase your chances of getting COVID-19. You should also consider the possibility of asymptomatic transmission, which means that even people who appear healthy may be carrying the virus. For these reasons, travel should be limited to emergencies, and it is important to discuss travel plans with your healthcare provider before you leave. More information about the CDC’s travel recommendations can be found here.
Fairfield Medical Center’s COVID-19 Call Center is available to answer your questions regarding coronavirus protection, preparation and precautions. The call center is staffed with medical professionals in order to provide accurate, up-to-date information, and can be reached 24/7 by calling 740-687-8818.
You can find more information about how FMC is helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19 here.