COVID-19 Updates

Many researchers and scientists are on the job as the world works hard to combat COVID-19. This means they learn new information every day about the virus.

Here are two reputable sources:
1) American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists:
https://www.acog.org/clinical/clinical-guidance/practice-advisory/articles/2020/03/novel-coronavirus-2019

2) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/pregnant-women-and-children.html

Some main ideas are that:
– there is still much unknown about the virus and how it affects pregnancy and infants,
– pregnant women and infants are considered high-risk,
– a COVID-19 positive mother does not necessarily mean a COVID-19 infant,
– the danger during breastfeeding is from respiratory droplets,
– the virus has not been found in breast milk (although is under study).

COVID-19 and Breastfeeding
ACOG cites CDC precautions when breastfeeding such as wearing a face mask while caring for your baby, washing hands often, washing breast pumps before and after, and having a non-infected person feed your baby the expressed milk. These apply for COVID-19 positive parents as well as those who are being tested for COVID-19 (PUI = Person Under Investigation).

ACOG recommends a temporary separation of mother and baby until precautions are no longer required. This is vague and seems to be at the discretion of hospitals to decide their policy and reasoning. Therefore, ask your OBGYN about your hospital’s policy if you plan on giving birth in the hospital setting in the next few months. Also ask about your partner’s parental rights to the infant if your hospital does separate mother and infant for COVID-19 concerns.

Maryland Midwife Care
If you are interested in a home birth and have a low-risk pregnancy, local midwives are prepared to serve you and your family.

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COVID-19

You might be feeling anxious. Pause for a moment. Take a deep calming breath. While we know there is uncertainty around us, we are okay in this moment.

COVID-19, commonly known as Coronavirus, is a current pandemic that seems to be most threatening to those with underlying health conditions. As with the flu and other viruses, pregnancy woman are more susceptible. Continue practicing good hygiene by washing hands and high-touch objects like light switches and door knobs. Avoid those who are sick when you are able.

There is still little evidence about COVID-19 and pregnancy or postpartum results since it is still so new. However, similar viruses have existed and we can apply some of that knowledge in our current situation. The CDC has a to-the-point FAQs page about pregnancy and COVID-19. In short, the virus does not seem to pass to newborns in utero, during birth, or afterwards through breastfeeding.

So, breath easily and take care of yourself.

Love, Mamulya Doula.

Information for Healthcare Providers: COVID-19 and Pregnant Women FAQ. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 16 Mar. 2020, www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/pregnant-women-faq.html.