COVID-19 FAQ’s Answered by Dr. Helliwell & Dr. Kaneen

Not much is concretely known about COVID-19 at this time, in regards to its effect on pregnant women, and there aren’t any specific treatment options for pregnant women who have the virus. However, there are a number of preventative measures our patients, regardless of pregnancy, can take.

Q: Are pregnant women more likely to suffer fatal consequences due to COVID-19 if infected compared with non-pregnant women?

A: Generally speaking, research shows an increase in health risks in pregnant women who suffer from respiratory infections. Regarding COVID-19 specifically, however, there isn’t enough concrete data yet to know for absolute sure. Therefore, health care professionals will continue to monitor the research in this area. Everyone, from pregnant women to those who aren’t pregnant, should take preventative measures seriously to avoid exposure to the virus and to help flatten the curve of growing cases in the United States and around the globe.

Q: Should pregnant women wear a mask?

A: Pregnant women should follow the guidelines that mirrors the rest of society when it comes to wearing a protective face covering. Recently, the CDC has altered its recommendations in this area:

CDC continues to study the spread and effects of the novel coronavirus across the United States. We now know from recent studies that a significant portion of individuals with coronavirus lack symptoms (“asymptomatic”) and that even those who eventually develop symptoms (“pre-symptomatic”) can transmit the virus to others before showing symptoms.  This means that the virus can spread between people interacting in close proximity—for example, speaking, coughing, or sneezing—even if those people are not exhibiting symptoms.  In light of this new evidence, CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.”

Q: Can telehealth and virtual office visits help obstetric visits for the time being?

Yes. AWHC is currently offering the option to schedule a telehealth appointment. Health care facilities that do not yet offer this option should do so to help ease the transition for their patients and continue to provide them with the proper care during these uncertain times.

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