Resetting expectations in the time of COVID-19

Congratulations! You’re having a baby during a global virus outbreak and healthcare system crisis! Like millions of parents-to-be around the world who decided to boink at an inopportune time, you are probably wondering how this situation will impact your pregnancy and childbirth. This is a halfass-decent attempt to compile as much relevant bullshitfrom healthcare organizations, medical journals, data resources, and news articles under a singular post so you don’t have to go scouring half the god damn fucking intertubes in search of breadcrumbs of pertinent information that actually fucking matters to you. The whole goal-thinger here is to help knocked up dudettes and their families reset expectations in the time of…. well… y’know. This.

The My-Lawyers-Are-Screaming-At-Me-To-Put-This-Up-So-Here-It-Is Medical Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. I am an idiot. The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images, and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. No content on this site is a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Does being pregnant put me at a higher risk of severe illness?

Maybe.

The CDC has recently added pregnant people to their list of those who are at higher risk for severe illness, although to date, the limited COVID-19 data is inconclusive.

Can the virus be transmitted to my baby in utero?

There is not yet substantial evidence of COVID-19 transmission in utero, but a newborn has tested positive for elevated antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 shortly after birth.

Should I consider a home birth instead of a hospital birth?

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists believes that hospitals and accredited birth centers are the safest settings for birth. Contact your healthcare provider before making any changes to your birth plan.

Can the virus be passed to my baby after delivery?

Yes. The virus can spread to newborns in the same way it spreads in adults–through droplets in the air and on surfaces.

Has COVID-19 been detected in breastmilk?

Not yet.

According to one study of COVID-19 infection in nine pregnant women, amniotic fluid, cord blood, neonatal throat swab, and breastmilk samples from six patients were tested for SARS-CoV-2, and all samples tested negative for the virus.

Will my spouse/partner/friend/family be allowed in the delivery room?

Healthcare facilities are rapidly changing their visitor policies to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Some hospitals and state health departments are limiting delivery support to one person only; others have even harsher restrictions. If your support person has symptoms or has had recent contact with anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19, it is unlikely they will be allowed in the delivery room with you. Contact your healthcare provider to find out their latest visitor/support policies.

Will my hospital have the resources to care for my baby and me?

Unknown. Research and data gathering in progress.

How many pregnant people have tested positive?

Unknown. Research and data gathering in progress.

How many pregnant people have died from COVID-19?

Unknown. Research and data gathering in progress.

How many newborns have tested positive?

Unknown. Research and data gathering in progress.

How many newborns have died from COVID-19?

Unknown. Research and data gathering in progress.

Will my labor be medically induced if I test positive for COVID-19?

Unknown. Research and data gathering in progress.

Will I have to have to get a C-section if I test positive for COVID-19?

Unknown. Research and data gathering in progress.

Will I be immediately isolated from my baby if I test positive for COVID-19?

Maybe.

Some healthcare facilities have recommended that mothers who have tested positive for COVID-19 be separated from their newborns to avoid transmitting the disease.

Information from Healthcare Organizations

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding Information about Coronavirus Disease 2019 – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Coronavirus (COVID-19), Pregnancy, and Breastfeeding: A Message for Patients – American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG)

Q&A on COVID-19, pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding – World Health Organization (WHO)

Data, Dashboards, and Research

Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases – Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University (JHU)

The COVID Tracking Project – Alexis Madrigal; et al

Antibodies in Infants Born to Mothers With COVID-19 Pneumonia – Hui Zeng, MD; Chen Xu, BS; Junli Fan, MD; et al

Possible Vertical Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 From an Infected Mother to Her Newborn – Lan Dong, MD; Jinhua Tian, MD; Songming He, MD; et al

Neonatal Early-Onset Infection With SARS-CoV-2 in 33 Neonates Born to Mothers With COVID-19 in Wuhan, China – Lingkong Zeng, MD; Shiwen Xia, MD; Wenhao Yuan, MD; et al

Can SARS-CoV-2 Infection Be Acquired In Utero? – David W. Kimberlin, MD; Sergio Stagno, MD

News Articles, Blogs, and More

Health Advisory: COVID-19 Guidance for Hospital Operators regarding Obstetrical and Pediatric Settings – New York State Department of Health

Flatten the Curve – Initially compiled by Julie McMurry, MPH from the University of London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Updates and Delivering Alone – Emily Oster, PhD, Professor of Economics at Brown University

Birth in the Time of COVID-19 – Emily Oster, PhD, Professor of Economics at Brown University

Hope some of this shit was helpful. And just remember kiddos, wrap it in latex… or she’s gettin’ y0 paycheques.

Much love and all that jazz <3

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