Editor’s note: This article was published on April 7, 2020. COVID-19 information and recommendations are subject to change. For the most up-to-date information, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website or view our most recent COVID-19 blog posts.
Some expectant moms have a birth experience in mind before going to the hospital to have their baby. However, even without an ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, things don’t always happen as planned.
To give you some peace of mind, Women’s Health providers at Marshfield Clinic Health System answer a few important questions for labor and delivery, along with postpartum care during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Will this change my birth experience?
You may have already talked to your provider about your childbirth experience, which is subject to change in any situation. However, during this time, there is a high risk of aerosolization, which means if you have the COVID-19 virus, it can be spread through the air.
Because of this, your provider and care team may be wearing protective eyewear, facemasks and take precautions during delivery. If you are not feeling well, you may be requested to wear a facemask as well.
Overall, your doctor or midwife, and nurses will work with you to make your labor and delivery safe and positive.
Can my support person be there for labor and delivery?
Each health care location may have different visitation restrictions. Currently, the Health System allows one support person at the hospital during your labor and stay. However, every day brings new information and challenges.
Visit marshfieldclinic.org for the most up-to-date information, or contact your provider.
Will I be able to breastfeed?
Breast milk provides protection against many illnesses. CDC states that the virus has not been detected in breastmilk.
Our staff encourages you to continue breastfeeding. If you have any symptoms of COVID-19, talk to your obstetrics provider about the best steps to take going forward.
You can wear a facemask while breastfeeding and always wash your hands before and after nursing. You also could also pump breastmilk and have a healthy member of your family feed your baby.
After my baby is born, should I have visitors over to my house?
During this time, we encourage everyone to stay at their own homes. This includes brand new grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends.
Video messaging is a great way to stay connected. In addition, staying home is a great way to make sure you, your partner and baby get adequate time to rest, eat and above all, stay healthy.
As information is always changing, if you have additional questions, reach out to your provider.