Frequently Asked Questions About Pregnancy and COVID-19
Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Henry Ford Health System has put temporary measures in place to restrict visitors at all facilities, including hospitals. Obstetric patients may have one person accompany them. Get more specific information on our current visitor policy.
Below are the answers to a few frequently asked questions about COVID-19 and pregnancy.
Follow the standard guidelines currently recommended by the CDC for social distancing and proper hand hygiene and stay home if possible. If you must go out, wear personal protective gear such as a mask and gloves. It’s okay to go outdoors for gentle exercise, walking, etc., as long as social distancing is practiced.
Should I delay or postpone my prenatal visits in order to avoid the doctor’s office or hospital setting?
Talk to your physician or midwife about your concerns. Whenever possible, Henry Ford is encouraging the use of tele-health options for appointments, including video visits like those used in our virtual prenatal care program.
What if I am pregnant and have tested positive for coronavirus?
For pregnant women who have tested positive for COVID-19 or who are exhibiting coronavirus symptoms, most won't need to go to the hospital or require any special treatment. Although therapies for positive patients vary on a case-by-case basis, many patients manage at home by using Tylenol in moderation, resting and drinking lots of fluids. Be sure you are in communication with your primary healthcare provider.
Watch Our Facebook Live Q & A
On April 8, maternal and fetal medicine specialist Dr. Gregory Goyert answered your questions about pregnancy during theCOVID-19 outbreak.
Is it safe for me to deliver my baby at a Henry Ford hospital?
Henry Ford Health System hospitals are well-equipped to care for you and your baby. Our staff is following local, state, and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines and recommendations regarding caring for patients requiring obstetrical care.
Right now, COVID-19 appears to infect infants and children much less than the elderly, people with chronic medical conditions, and weakened immune systems. For more information, talk to your OB doctor about your concerns and options.
What should I expect when I arrive at the hospital to have my baby?
All patients and visitors to our hospitals are screened at the main entrance. This includes screening questions about history of fever, travel history, known exposures, symptoms such as runny nose, cough, sore throat, etc. Then you will be escorted to the OB Unit/Labor & Delivery, and provided a mask if you’re not already wearing one. Similar screening questions may be asked, and vital signs are taken, and then you’ll be assigned to an appropriate room, based on your screening.
Who can stay with me for the baby’s birth?
Due to the coronavirus outbreak, we have to restrict visitors to keep you and everyone in the hospital safe. Currently, our system hospitals are allowing one person — your partner or support person — to stay with you during the birthing experience. If you have specific questions about someone you wish to have with you, we suggest contacting your provider or the Birthing Center of the hospital you plan to deliver at.
What precautions will the Labor & Delivery staff take to help ensure that me and my baby are not exposed to other patients who may have coronavirus?
All hospital staff, including those within our Birthing Centers, follow guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control for caring for confirmed or suspected COVID-19 positive patients. This includes the use of appropriate personal protective equipment (masks, shields, gloves, gowns, etc.) and corresponding hygiene, disinfection and sterilization guidelines. Patients with COVID-19 are isolated in private rooms, and staff follow the appropriate standards designed to prevent the spread of infection.
Pregnancy, Breastfeeding and the COVID-19 Vaccine
Should pregnant and breastfeeding women get the COVID-19 vaccine? As of now, the answer depends on the specific patient and their risk factors. The vaccine is so new, there is no research on pregnant or breastfeeding women who have had the vaccine, as they were not included as participants during the clinical trials.
Because pregnant women are at a higher risk of becoming ill from COVID-19, it is important to discuss the vaccine with your provider, once it becomes more widely available to the general population.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) suggests the following considerations for vaccination of pregnant women:
The level of COVID-19 community transmission
Her personal risk of contracting COVID-19, (by occupation or other activities)
The risks of COVID-19 to her and potential risks to the fetus
The efficacy of the vaccine
The known side effects of the vaccine
The lack of data about the vaccine during pregnancy
In addition, ACOG (the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) recommends that COVID-19 vaccines should be made available to both pregnant and breastfeeding women who meet the criteria for vaccination. Since the earliest does are prioritized for targeted groups, such as front line health care workers and first responders, pregnant and breastfeeding women who are among these groups will have access to the vaccine. Again, these women are encouraged to evaluate the considerations noted above, and/or to connect with their health care providers for discussion.
Read more about ACOG’s guidance on the vaccine here.
Another medical professional organization that supports the clinical practice of maternal-fetal medicine, SMFM (Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine) supports giving pregnant and breastfeeding women access to the COVID-19 vaccine, also recommending that women have discussion about potential benefits and unknown risks together their with healthcare providers regarding the vaccine.
See more about SMFM’s opinion of the vaccine for this population here.
Please note: Appointments for the COVID-19 vaccine can ONLY be scheduled through the COVID-19 vaccine button on eligible Henry Ford MyChart accountsat this time. Due to limited supply, they are only available at select locations and by appointment only. Get more details here.
Henry Ford Health System is committed to ensuring our Deaf or hard-of-hearing patients and visitors have equal access to all services. We provide the appropriate auxiliary aids and services, including qualified sign language interpreters, TTYs and other assistive listening devices, at no cost. To request assistance, call 313-916-1896 or email CommunicationAccess@hfhs.org.