When the vaccines were rolled out, everyone sighed with relief, but the coronavirus had other plans. With emerging strains, such as the delta variant, California is contemplating stricter mandates again in order to combat these new, highly contagious variants.
In the meantime, you’re worried about your pregnancy, the childbirth, and the health of your newborn afterward.
At NOVA IVF, Drs. Meera Shah and Richard Schmidt and our team understand that you’ve been through a great deal to become pregnant and you’re, understandably, concerned about giving birth during the pandemic.
While information is ever-evolving, here’s a look at what we know up to this point about the risks for both mother and child when it comes to giving birth during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Pregnancy and COVID-19
Back in February, we presented a blog called “How Does COVID-19 Impact Pregnancy,” and not much has changed since that time.
To wit, the CDC reports several key findings, starting with the fact that although the overall risk of severe illness is low among pregnant women, especially those who have been vaccinated, recently pregnant women are slightly more at risk for developing severe illness (hospitalization).
Also concerning is the fact that pregnant women who are infected with COVID-19 are more at risk for preterm delivery (earlier than 37 weeks).
If you are of an advanced maternal age or you have an underlying medical condition, such as obesity or diabetes, your risks for developing severe illness during and shortly after your pregnancy (within 42 days) is slightly elevated.
The takeaway here is that you should take every precaution to avoid becoming infected, which includes social distancing, frequent hand-washing, mask-wearing, and vaccination.
COVID-19 and your newborn
Another cause for concern is your baby’s health after delivery, especially since vaccines are only available to children who are 12 years or older, which means your newborn isn’t eligible.
When it comes to infection in newborns, early data from the CDC suggests that:
- Most newborns of mothers who had COVID-19 during pregnancy do not have the infection when they’re born
- We don’t know whether newborns who test positive for COVID-19 contracted the infection before, during, or after birth
- Of the newborns who tested positive, most had mild or no symptoms
If you’re anxious about your newborn becoming infected, talk with your hospital before your delivery, as well as with us, so we can provide some guidance.
Many mothers are isolating themselves out of caution, which may be a good idea right now as these more highly contagious COVID-19 variants emerge.
During this time, you can limit your newborn’s and your exposure by implementing a strict regimen of hand-washing and mask use for the limited people who have access to your newborn.
While we understand that it can be frustrating to navigate a pregnancy and childbirth during these uncertain times, we want to assure you that we’re here to help in any way we can. If you have any questions, please contact our office in Mountain VIew, California, to learn more.