4/5/2020 Staying Safe while Pregnant & Postpartum
So I haven't written much because as other than the increasing number of cases and deaths from COVID-19 throughout the country not much has changed. The expected peak in Orange County is expected around April 26-27, I am hoping all our social distancing efforts will make this very different from Seattle and New York.
A few more recommendations for our pregnant patients, I feel like the normal anxiety and fears we have when we are pregnant are off the charts during this pandemic. I also feel like pregnant women for the most part are doing an amazing job of social distancing and trying to remove themselves from all face to face interactions. Please continue to do this!
#1 When you are out for those rare outings please wear any face covering or mask. This is still not an official recommendation from the CDC, however, all of us at PACWHA feel like we would rather be extra careful than not. We do so many other things out of an abundance of caution, wearing a mask seems prudent. It does not have to be an N95- just a regular mask is enough. The idea is that it is a barrier between your hands and your face, as well as can prevent stray respiratory droplets from getting on your face. Please wear a mask to your appointments if you have one, and we are already universally masking our office staff. (see my patient's cute homemade one below- easy to wash and wear again!)
#2 Self-monitor for signs of COVID-19. The main symptoms include runny nose, sore throat, fever ( > 100.0), also new onset of loss of taste or smell, cough and shortness of breath. Taking your temperature daily, especially if you are still in contact with others is not a bad idea.
#3 Feel free to ask those around you to wear a mask/face covering if they have not be quarantined. Many patients or spouses are still traveling and we expect many patients to be coming from other "hot spots" around the country. Please let your provider know about any of your close contact's travel history. We do have testing available for pregnant women through multiple locations.
#4 Do NOT lysol or soap on your fruits and veggies. You can use wipes on the grocery bags. It is difficult for viruses to live on non-living organisms but it may be possible. Generally 3-4 days at most. So if you are worried about packages, mail etc. just let it sit around for 3-4 days and then it should be fine to handle. Heat is also effective at killing this virus, I don't have any exact temperature or time. But there are some studies > 70 degrees F for 30 minutes should be enough. UV light also has been used successfully. I think the best thing is to just isolate those items for a few days and then use them. For food, cook it or wash it well with water. If you are getting take out - I think the most important thing is to make sure everything is cooked well ( maybe heat it up a little more before you eat it just to be extra safe!), wash your hands and don't touch your face!
#5 Wash your hands ( yeah - i know you've heard it a million times.) Don't forget to moisturize them often as well.
#6 Don't take any chances, sorry grandmas and in-laws. Err on the side of caution.
#7 Should I take masks to the hospital? Hoag doesn't have a universal masking policy yet (we're working on that), however on Labor and Delivery all Staff should be wearing a mask. I hope by early this week everyone on the postpartum unit will also be wearing a mask and gloves with all patients. There is also a separate entrance for L&D.
#8 For postpartum breast feeding issues there is a new 24/7 lactation support app that Hoag is offering to all patients called Pacify for 1 year free. If you need more information on this call 949-764-2220 ( the BABYline) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
#9 Limit visitors even after you get home from the hospital. I know it sucks. Newborns have such delicate immune systems that I would try to avoid infection for the first 3 months of life especially.
#10 Vitamin C is fine in pregnancy.
#11 More hospital updates available at www.hoag.org/covid
Know that PACWHA is fighting hard to keep the hospital a safe place for you and your family!
#12 Coronavirus and Sex ? Click here for A Well-written and informative piece by gynecologist Jen Gunter.
#13 Should I consider home birth ? Another informative piece by a fellow Ob/Gyn answers this question very well. I couldn't have said it better myself.