We’re here to help you navigate pregnancy during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you have more questions, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 800-825-KIDS (5437).
Frequently Asked Questions
Expecting Mothers and COVID-19
How can I protect myself and my unborn child?
To protect yourself and your unborn child from coronavirus and other infections, you should follow the CDC’s recommendations for prevention:
- Keep away from others as much as possible by staying home.
- If you do go out, stay at least six feet away from others.
- Wear a facemask if you have to leave the house.
- Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Don’t touch your face.
- Stay away from sick people.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, like doorknobs, phones and counters.
Is my COVID-19 risk higher while pregnant?
Currently, there is limited information about how susceptible pregnant women are to COVID-19. According to the CDC, women are generally more at risk of contracting viral respiratory infections because of changes in their bodies during pregnancy. Pregnant women who have other conditions (like diabetes and heart, lung or kidney disease) are considered to be high-risk if they contract the virus. COVID-19 may also increase your risk for severe illness and pregnancy complications.
Should I take extra precautions?
If you’re pregnant, you should be as careful as possible to avoid exposure and follow all guidelines the CDC has in place for the general public. Mainly, avoid unnecessary travel, public gatherings and contact with others who have any type of illness. It’s also critical to continue your prenatal care — including appointments with your OB-GYNs.
What should I do if I have symptoms?
COVID-19 symptoms can be similar to other illnesses and may appear up to two weeks after exposure. If you have any of the following symptoms, contact your doctor:
- Shortness of breath
- Sore throat
- Repeated shaking with chills
- Muscle pain
- Loss of taste or smell
Most people who get sick can be cared for at home with fluids and rest. If you need to see a healthcare provider, call their office or the hospital (800-825-5437) before going in. For emergencies, call 911.
Can I get tested for COVID-19?
You'll need to be tested either before labor and delivery or when you arrive for delivery. Testing helps us provide the best possible care for you, your child and all the other moms and babies at our hospital.
Before delivery, you should talk to your doctor if you suspect you are infected and are experiencing symptoms. Depending on your health and symptoms, you may not necessarily need to be tested. Most expecting moms can recover at home.
What happens if my test is positive?
Before delivery: If you test positive for COVID-19, your pregnancy, labor and delivery will most likely proceed as normal. Most pregnant women with COVID-19 can recover with rest, fluids and over-the-counter medicines. Your doctor can help you decide if you need a different approach to recovery.
After delivery: With proper safety practices, most babies (up to 98%) born to moms with COVID-19 will not contract the virus at birth. Rooming-in safety practices include:
- Wearing a mask when caring for your newborn.
- Washing your hands thoroughly before and after breastfeeding or other contact with your baby.
- Keeping your baby’s crib six feet away when not actively breastfeeding.
- Having a second caregiver or nurse perform infant care whenever possible, including diaper changes, bathing and changing clothes.
- If possible, having a second caregiver perform feedings with pumped breast milk or formula.
Can I transmit COVID-19 to my baby?
So far, there is no evidence of the disease being passed through the cord blood or amniotic fluid of infected moms to their babies. Dr. Courtney Martin says that, during a vaginal delivery, the virus can be detected in maternal blood and feces. In many cases, babies can be exposed to these at the time of birth. “Because of this,” Dr. Martin says, “our OB-GYNs at Children’s Hospital are taking extra precautions to ensure the baby is safe from this exposure.”
Is it safer to give birth at home during COVID-19?
It's still safe to give birth at the hospital, and giving birth at home still has serious risks to consider. Hospitals not only have stricter safety measures than almost any other public place, but also have the ability to treat any complication that happens during childbirth. In case of an emergency, it's safer for you and your child to have immediate access to medical attention.
Prenatal Appointments, Labor and Delivery During COVID-19
Is it still safe to come to the hospital or clinic?
All hospitals and clinics are open and ready to serve patients. We are encouraging video visits through MyChart when possible, and using strict safety measures during in-person appointments.
Prenatal appointments are very important to the health of both you and your baby. You should plan to attend all appointments unless your doctor tells you otherwise.
Can I have my support person with me during labor?
Yes, doulas and one support person are allowed to stay with you during labor and delivery. Afterward, only one visitor or support person at a time is allowed in the postpartum unit or nursery. Visitors must remain in your room and can only come and go from the hospital once in a 24-hour period.
What are you doing to keep patients and families safe?
We’re using a number of strict safety measures to help keep everyone in our facilities safe. We’ve integrated the following guidelines from the CDC and San Bernardino County Department of Public Health:
- Temperature checks and screening questionnaires are being administered at the entry points into all of our facilities.
- Patients, caregivers and visitors are screened daily for symptoms.
- Visitor restrictions limit the number of people in our facilities and lower the chances of virus transmission.
- Separate units for COVID-19 patients and strict care plans help avoid spreading the virus.
- Masks are required for everyone within our facilities.
- Personal protective equipment (PPE) is fully stocked and utilized by our staff according to national guidelines.
- Patients receive COVID-19 testing upon admission and prior to surgery.
- Appropriate cleaning procedures are used in every facility.
- Only essential staff are working at our facilities.