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Pregnant in the COVID-19 Pandemic: What to Know

March 26, 2020

Pregnant? This is an unusual time in healthcare with the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are some recommendations from Hartford HealthCare to keep you and your baby safe.

Remember, these are for educational purposes only. They do not replace any medical advice that you receive from your healthcare provider.

How can I protect myself?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds before eating, after going to the bathroom, after touching your face, coughing, or sneezing – or use hand sanitizer than contains at least 60% alcohol when soap and water is not available.
  • Avoid people who are sick.
  • Keep at least 6 feet between you and other people.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Disinfect frequently touched surfaces often
  • What do I do about my scheduled prenatal appointments?

Please call your OB provider’s office and make a plan for your upcoming visits.

Am I more likely to become infected with COVID-19?
Although the data is limited, the evidence from China suggests that pregnant women do not have a greater risk of becoming infected with COVID-19.

Can I pass COVID-19 to my unborn baby?
To date, there is no evidence that shows babies can get this virus before birth. Hartford HealthCare will ensure that you and your baby are cared for using the latest recommendations from the CDC.

What do I do if I have a cough, fever (100.4 or higher), or shortness of breath?
If you have any of these symptoms, please contact your healthcare provider:  You may be instructed to stay home and self-isolate.  Depending on your doctor’s recommendation, you may be advised to go to a drive-up testing facility or go to the hospital.

What if I have suspected COVID-19 and also have pregnancy-related concerns?
Please contact your obstetrician provider if you are experiencing contractions, fluid or blood leaking from your vagina, a decrease in your baby’s movement, or any unusual symptoms.

What are the current COVID-19 visitor restrictions?
Hartford HealthCare allows for one visitor during your entire maternity stay. You and your selected visitor will both be screened for symptoms for COVID-19 when you arrive. If either your or your visitor’s screening indicates you are at high risk for COVID-19, your visitor will be sent home immediately. Please understand that visitor restrictions may change at any time for the health and well-being of our patients and healthcare staff. (please put hyperlink to HHC visitor restrictions here).

I am planning on using a doula. Is the doula considered a visitor?
A doula is considered a visitor.  We encourage you to reach out to your doula and develop an alternate plan that works for you if you have already designated another support person.

What can I expect will happen if I have COVID-19 and give birth?
You and your baby’s safety is our number one priority.  It is the safest thing for you and your baby to be separated immediately after giving birth. This will help decrease the risk of transmitting the virus to your newborn. If you are planning to breastfeed, we will teach you how to hand express or pump your breast milk so it can be fed to your baby. Your caregivers will be limited and will wear protective health equipment including mask, gown, gloves, and eye protection. You may be asked to wear a mask during your stay.

Can I transmit COVID-19 through breastfeeding?
It does not appear that COVID-19 is transmitted through breast milk.  However, having your baby skin-to-skin and directly on your breast does put your baby at risk.  It is recommended that a healthy caregiver feeds baby your breast milk using a feeding method that will protect your baby and your milk supply.

If I am considered an essential employee, should I stop working because of the COVID-19 outbreak and my pregnancy?
Please speak with your direct supervisor as well as your OB provider about your particular situation. Follow all precaution guidelines when caring for someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.

For more information on maternity care at Hartford HealthCare, click here.