Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory disease that has infected more than 250,000 people worldwide. All demographics and age groups are at risk for infection, but as expecting women and families with newborn babies seek more information about whether they’re at greater risk, we spoke to Daniel Grace, MD, Maternal-fetal Medicine Specialist at Rochester Regional Health, and Marcy Mulconry, MD, OBGYN at Rochester Regional Health, for their input.
Q: Are pregnant women more susceptible to COVID-19 than other groups?
In general, pregnant women are at a higher risk for infection from all viruses because their immune systems are working to build up protection for their unborn child.
According to the CDC, there is currently no published scientific reports that pregnant women or newborn babies are more susceptible to contracting COVID-19 than other groups.
Q: Can pregnant women with COVID-19 pass the virus to their unborn child or newborn?
Q: Is there anything that pregnant women can do to reduce their risk of becoming infected?
Q: What’s the difference between COVID-19 and the Zika virus?
The Zika virus is a dangerous virus that is spread mostly by mosquitoes. According to the CDC, Zika can be passed from a pregnant woman to her unborn child and infection during pregnancy can cause birth defects.
There were no reported cases of local mosquito-borne Zika virus transmission in the continental U.S. in 2018 or 2019.
COVID-19 is mostly spread through droplets in the air, similar to how the seasonal flu spreads. There is much more evidence showing a pregnant woman can spread Zika to her unborn child than there is showing she can spread COVID-19 to her unborn child.
Q: What restrictions are there in hospitals for visiting expectant mothers?
Rochester Regional Health is being cautious in limiting the potential for community exposure to health teams and patients. This is an important time in someone’s life. One support person is allowed to accompany a patient in the maternity units.
Q: How can people buy formula given the many empty shelves in the grocery stores?
In some cases, grocery stores don’t have some of these items. Companies are working with pediatrics and women’s health care colleagues for a way to access formula. Companies are letting patients order directly from either its website or by phone. Those orders are being shipped directly to patients using formula.
Q: Should expecting mothers be considering a home birth?
Home birth is never a safer choice. In this circumstance of COVID-19 it is still not a safer choice to deliver at home.
Q: Do you have any recommendations for online birth classes or videos since in-person classes are cancelled?
Yes, birthing classes have been cancelled. Rochester Regional Health is in the process of launching an online birthing class. Patients who are seeking care at Rochester Regional Health will receive information on how to access that the week of March 23. Another engaging education tool is being sent out to patients in the beginning of pregnancy with additional online videos.
Wednesday, April 8, 2020
Coronavirus COVID-19 is spreading in Monroe County and other counties throughout Western New York and Rochester. Here are the new coronavirus cases in Western New York.Read News Article
Wednesday, April 8, 2020
Coronavirus testing and drive-thru evaluation are now available in Rochester and Monroe County at Rochester General Hospital, Unity Hospital, Clifton Springs, and UMMC.Read News Article