What Happens When You’re Pregnant and Positive
Even though Clinic Sofia has not had many patients who are pregnant and have tested positive for Covid-19, some are inquiring about the possibility – what would happen, what they would need to do and the potential impact on baby. Some good news was shared recently by researchers at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, who found no evidence of transmission from infected mothers to babies, including those who breastfed and stayed in the same room with their newborns, if the moms wore masks and exercised good hygiene habits.
Dr. Deb Krahl shared some insights for pregnant women and their families: “In Minnesota, we have been fortunate so far to encounter lower rates of Covid-19 compared to other parts of the country and Minnesotans have been very good at wearing masks and social distancing. This in itself should help pregnant patients feel better overall,” she said. “Testing is now commonplace and readily available so while it’s natural to have increased concerns during pregnancy, we try to reduce fear through up-to-date and accurate information.”
In addition, Dr. Krahl offers the following details on testing and positivity during pregnancy and post-natal:
- If a patient tests positive during pregnancy, she must wait 14 days and be symptom-free before visiting the office (among other places). Women who are concerned about potential symptoms can call their doctor and/or go to the ER to be evaluated. Those who need to be hospitalized will be cared for by OB-GYN doctors who will monitor fetal well-being and the health of the mother, who will also be seen by internal medicine doctors and other members of a multidisciplinary team.
- During labor, patients receive a Covid-19 test upon admission and the results are available within hours. Women who are scheduled for an induction or repeat C-section will take a test three to seven days prior and then self-quarantine. If the test is negative, the patient and support people still need to wear a mask, but can remove them when they are in their hospital room alone. In the case of a positive test, the patient is placed in a special room prepared for this situation and all medical personnel entering the room will wear N95 masks, a protective gown and gloves, and all medical equipment will be disinfected before it leaves the room.
- After delivery, “moms who are positive for Covid-19 are treated with the same excellent nursing and medical care as everyone else. While wearing a mask and with frequent hand-washing, moms can interact with their babies, breastfeed after cleaning the nipple and hold their babies. It is very, very unlikely that the newborn will get Covid from moms, so maternal bonding, interaction and breastfeeding are all still encouraged and are very important. If the mother is Covid positive at the time of delivery, babies also receive extra care and more frequent monitoring, with testing at 24 and 48 hours post-birth.”
Dr. Krahl adds that “the same recommendations apply that we have been sharing since the spring: Wear masks in public. Frequent hand-washing is essential. Try to quarantine the last few weeks of pregnancy to avoid potential exposure and this applies to husbands and partners as well.”
She is also encouraged to note that flu shots have been in high demand this fall, and that many people are sharing that this is their first flu shot or that they are taking an extra step to protect themselves and their loved ones this year.