COVID world concept

COVID-19 and Women’s Health FAQs

admin Pregnancy, Women's Health

COVID-19 is a new strain in a family of viruses known as coronaviruses (Corona Virus Disease 2019) that causes cold or flu-like symptoms for most people. We’re offering some insight into this virus and what you need to know for your health including your pregnancy.

What is Important to Know?

COVID-19 is a new virus in the coronavirus family.  Rapid spread is related to individuals not having immunity and the virus spreads easily.   For the most current information on COVID-19, please access the CDC website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/need-to-know.html.

Who are the at-risk populations?

Currently, those at highest risk are people over the age of 80, people over the age of 50 with other underlying medical conditions (diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, cancer, etc.), or those who are immunocompromised or taking immunosuppressant medications.

I’m pregnant. Does this mean that I am at higher risk?

Yes and no. The CDC has classified pregnant women as an at-risk group. Pregnant women in general tend to be more susceptible to infections and can have higher rates of complications when they do get sick. However, world-wide data does not seem to show higher rates of complication or worse outcomes for pregnant women with COVID-19 specifically. For more specific information about Pregnancy and COVID-19, go to the CDC website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/people-with-medical-conditions.html#pregnancy.

If I’m pregnant and am infected with COVID-19, will my baby get it?

Vertical infection, meaning having the virus across the placenta to your baby, has not been observed with this particular infection. There is a risk that if you are sick with COVID-19 and deliver, your baby could be exposed to the virus and get sick. For this reason, your newborn would be kept in a separate room initially.

What are the most common symptoms?

People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these Symptoms may have COVID-19.

What should I do if I have these symptoms?

Call your primary physician, or your obstetrician if you are pregnant. It is important to talk with them over the phone to be able to figure out the best course of action. It’s best to call before showing up in a clinic or at the hospital so that your doctor can determine if your symptoms are severe enough to risk exposing other patients to the virus.

If you don’t have a doctor or obstetrician, please feel free to call our triage line. For most people who only have mild symptoms, staying home and limiting contact with others until the contagious phase has passed (usually about 2 weeks) is recommended. However, if you start having severe symptoms it may be prudent to seek medical care in the hospital.

What are severe symptoms?

Watch for trouble breathing, chest pain or pressure that is persistent, altered mental status, and blush lips or face. If you have any of these signs this constitutes an emergency and you should seek medical care immediately.

What should I do to prevent getting sick?

Limiting social contact is the most important measure you can take right now, in addition to washing your hands thoroughly and often.

Do I need to wear a mask?

Yes. Evidence shows masks reduce transmitting virus not only in those showing symptoms but those who are asymptomatic. For current information on masks and recommendations, refer to CDC website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/cloth-face-cover-guidance.html.

In addition, besides wearing a mask, reduce touching the nose, mouth and eyes, where virus lives and is shedding, is important.  Wash hands after touching face and mask and clean/dispose of mask. 

Should I still come to the hospital if I’m pregnant and need to be seen for labor and delivery?

Yes! Even though all this is going on, if there is a concern that you are going into labor or that there is a problem with your pregnancy, the hospital is still the safest place to go and be evaluated.

What will be different about my hospital experience because of COVID – 19?

Our hospitals maybe limiting visitors based on numbers of COVID in community and risk of exposure to other patients and staff/providers.  For current visitor guidelines in our partner hospital, visit St Luke’s website at  https://www.stlukesonline.org/health-services/service-groups/covid-resources/visitor-policy-and-masking-requirements.

What if I think I am infected but need to be seen on labor and delivery?

Plan to come in and be evaluated as you normally would, but please let the staff know before you arrive so they can be prepared. This would involve having an isolation room set up for you and keeping our other patients from being exposed. If you are in labor and end up delivering while symptomatic, your baby would be kept in a separate room until COVID-19 infection was ruled out to prevent the spread of the virus from you to your child.

What should I know about the COVID-19 Vaccine?

Idaho’s Governor has established an Idaho’s COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Committee (CVAC) to prepare and respond to COVID-19 vaccine information and distribution.  For the latest information on Idaho’s approach and credible information on the vaccines, go to  https://coronavirus.idaho.gov/covid-19-vaccine

Where can I go to get more information?

If you do not see an answer to your question or have a concern related to COVID, please contact us at COVID@ogaidaho.com.

Learn more about Pregnancy Health