Pregnancy and childbirth already come with a lot of questions and stress, but with the added risk of Covid-19 and strict pandemic measures at hospitals and doctors’ offices, there’s more to navigate than ever. So on this episode of What To Expect, Heidi Murkoff talks with maternal fetal medicine specialist Dr. Sarah Obican to answer all the questions that the pandemic has brought up. Are pregnant women at a higher risk of contracting Covid, or having a more severe case? Is there any risk to the fetus if the mother has Covid? Is there anything a mom and her partner or family can do to help keep her and her baby safe during pregnancy? How are hospitals handling the childbirth routine? Can you safely deliver a baby with a mask on? Who can be in the room with you while you deliver? Is there any risk to the baby if a mom with Covid is breastfeeding? Dr. Obican answers all these questions and more.
The biggest problem with reassuring moms about Covid is that there’s still so much we don't know about the infection or how it impacts fetuses and babies. Fortunately, most of the traditional prenatal advice new moms get still holds true in the face of the pandemic: Take care of your body so your body can take care of the baby. Dr. Obican stresses eating healthy, not taking any supplements your doctor hasn’t recommended, getting some mild movement or exercise every day, and getting a decent night’s sleep – all things every new mom should be concentrating on anyway. The added sanitizing of surfaces, making sure to wear a mask when you’re out in public, constantly washing your hands, and keeping the amount of people around you to a minimum are important, too. As difficult as it may be, it’s essential to be picky about who you let into your “pregnancy pod” or who you allow to come visit your new baby. If you’re minimizing your risks and “cocooning” yourself, as Dr. Obican puts it, your risk of contracting Covid is low, and you can put a lot of these worries out of your mind.
She also discusses the flu and T-DAP vaccines, doulas, breastfeeding, cord collection, expecting dads and their role in a pandemic pregnancy, the racial disparities in maternal care, moms experiencing domestic violence, and so much more. Get answers to all your pandemic pregnancy and parenting questions on this episode of What To Expect.
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