From hearing the baby’s heartbeat for the first time to preparing for delivery, expecting mothers seeking maternity care during COVID-19 are masked up and going at it alone. Social distancing guidelines and other safety precautions are taking once monumental and sharable moments and turning them into lonely and bittersweet experiences. It too, is changing the entire experience between nurse and patient. From unique challenges to special protocols and everything in between, here are just some of the ways the pandemic is affecting maternity care.
The Unique Challenges of Maternity Care During COVID-19
Delivering babies is a high touch profession, yet it’s something that obviously cannot be delayed, pandemic or not. For mothers who are pregnant and also have COVID-19, their babies go into the NICU until the mother heals. For healthcare workers who are pregnant, and their job is to deliver babies – some of them transfer to less high-contact work to limit their potential exposure. In the case of healthy mothers who deliver during the time of COVID – for the most part, it’s business as usual. Here are some safety precautions’ to take and protect nurses, moms, and babies.
Special Protocols for Maternity Care During COVID-19 |How to Stay Safe
- Testing anyone who is admitted
Anyone who is admitted to the hospital should be tested for COVID-19. This ensures that if they are positive, they can be isolated and treated properly.
- Limit guests who can visit
Another way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is to limit the number of people in a room. This means that expecting mothers are going to most appointments by themselves. When it comes time for delivery, they are only permitted to have one person with them.
- Proper protective gear for healthcare workers
All healthcare workers who come in contact with patients are wearing protective gear. There’s been issues in many places with enough PPE for healthcare workers, and this is placing a strain on nurses and patients who want to feel safe together.
- Parents wearing masks
Patients too are wearing masks, and if they have someone with them, that person must wear a mask too.
- More tele-health appointments
Many pre and post-delivery follow up appointments are happening via telemedicine now instead of in person. The goal is to limit the amount of times a person has to come into a practice or hospital. Anything that can be done via video should happen that way. For things that require an in-person visit, this is still possible.
Maternity Care During COVID-19 | Are expecting mothers more at risk?
All of these precautions are to keep both healthcare workers and new mothers and babies safe. However, so far there is little evidence that being pregnant actually increases your risk of contracting or dying from COVID-19. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention claims that pregnant patients may be at increased risk for certain manifestations of severe illness due to COVID-19. However, they are not more at risk of death. This is good news and can ease some anxieties that patients and nurses are experiencing. Obviously, regardless of the risk, there are so many unknowns with COVID-19. This is why all necessary precautions must remain in place for the foreseeable future.
The best thing you can do to keep yourself and your patients safe is to continue to stay up to date on pandemic information. New research is available all of the time, and this can help to guide you in what safety measures you need to remain diligent about.
Find Jobs Doing Maternity Care During COVID-19!
Do you have additional questions about maternity care during COVID-19? Ask them in the comments below!