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  • Writer's pictureDr. Speir

4/8/2020 What if I get COVID-19 and I'm pregnant?

Updated: Jun 9, 2020

If you feel like you are having symptoms (discussed in previous posts) and need to be tested please call our office. Drive-thru testing is available at Coastal Kids and Hoag with physician referral.

#1 Depends on the trimester. In general based on current data we think pregnant women have the same rate of complications as the rest of the population. So approximately 85% of patients will have mild symptoms. (YAY!) We currently don't know the effect on the developing fetus but no associated birth defects have been reported. (We hope it stays this way as we get more data!) If you have mild symptoms, we recommend you treat it similar to a cold, using Tylenol or acetaminophen for fever >100.0, plenty of hydration with water or re-hydration liquids like Vitamin water, Gatorade, or Pedialyte, lots of rest. Vitamin C, Vitamin D and Zinc can also be used. Of course, washing your hands and trying to self isolate to avoid spreading it to your family.

#2 If you are close to delivery the current changes at the hospital are as follows:


* Separate entrance on the east side of the hospital, all pregnant women will be escorted up to L&D so you do not have to touch anything. PACWHA recommends you wear your mask until you are in your own room.

* Anyone entering your room should have a mask, policy of "enhanced masking" in place for hospital staff.

*If your partner/support person has symptoms they won't be allowed to come into the hospital - we are so sorry, but this is for everyone's protection. PLEASE do not lie about symptoms. You can choose someone else to accompany you, all patients are allowed 1 visitor.

* We are trying to limit your time in the hospital, so after vaginal deliveries we will try to discharge you and baby after 24 hours and with uncomplicated Cesareans 48 hours after delivery.


* Please let your provider know so we can inform Labor and Delivery before you arrive.

*During the second stage of labor, any health care staff will be room will be wearing N95 masks. We will try to limit the staff as well. The hospital wants patients to wear a mask as well.

*We will try to limit use of Motrin or other NSAIDs and use more Tylenol and/or narcotics.

*After delivery we recommend mothers wear a mask and gloves with their newborn as part of "Shared-decision making." This means assessing risks, benefits, and logistics of mothers taking care of their newborns. If mothers desire to stay in room with their newborn we recommend a 6 foot distance and using expressed breast milk. Currently no evidence that the virus is spread through breastmilk. However, directly breast feeding may increase chance of spread. The exception to this rule is if the baby has to go to the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit.) In this case patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 will not be allowed, and anyone who was in close contact with the patient will also not be allowed even if they test negative. A surrogate person who has not been with the parents can be appointed to see and hold the baby. These NICU rules are as of 6/8/2020 and subject to change.

*Severely ill patients will be in a separate unit of the hospital and will be isolated. There may be an advantage of Cesarean section in these patients or an operative delivery.

Photo credit to fellow Ob/Gyn and perinatologist Dr. ML and her Emergency Medicine Doctor husband Dr. JL from Chicago. Amazing that they have a great sense of humor with this maternity shoot! They want everyone to know that no PPE was wasted for this maternity shoot, it was going to be discarded after an educational session on how to wear protective gear correctly. They have been isolating from each other because Baby #2 is 3 weeks away. Wishing them the best of luck and staying safe!

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