Updated February 2022
Two years ago, the World Health Organization (WHO) labeled COVID-19 a global pandemic. It has impacted nearly every country around the world and continues to spread and affect our communities. If you are pregnant or have recently given birth, you may be extra concerned about your health during this time. You may also have many questions on how to stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. In this time of mask-wearing and genuine uncertainty, it is hard to feel comfortable with anything – including an unplanned pregnancy.
If you are facing an unplanned pregnancy now, take a deep breath. It is just as important to care for your mental and emotional health, as well as your physical health. Doctors and health experts agree that some of the best ways to defend yourself from COVID-19 include social distancing, practicing good hygiene, wearing a mask, and getting vaccinated. It is also important to take care of your mental health and well-being. If you need support at any time, know that help is available. Adoptions With Love is still working hard during this time of need. If you are considering adoption or would like to meet with one of our counselors, you can do so at any point – over the phone, video chat, or in-person if you wish.
At Adoptions With Love, we understand this is a difficult time for you. To help you get through, we have answered some frequently asked questions about COVID-19 during pregnancy.
- Are pregnant women at a higher risk for contracting COVID-19?
Your body undergoes many changes during pregnancy, which inherently can make you more susceptible to illness. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) finds that people who are pregnant are more at risk for severe illness from COVID-19 than those who are not. Health experts are urging anyone who is pregnant or breastfeeding to get vaccinated in order to lower the risk of severe illness from COVID-19.
- Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe during pregnancy?
This is a common concern among pregnant women. The CDC has found that the vaccines are safe to receive during pregnancy.
Medical experts are urging anyone who is pregnant or may become pregnant to get vaccinated. According to the CDC, the COVID-19 vaccines help protect the expectant/birth mother and her child.
- Can I go to prenatal appointments during the COVID-19 crisis?
It is best to contact your healthcare provider for guidance on appointment regulations, as it will vary by practice. However, the CDC recommends pregnant women continue to go to their prenatal appointments, following proper precautions. Many OB/GYN and midwiferies around the country are continuing to see patients as normal, but with masks required.
During pregnancy, it is important to seek treatment for regular and important blood work, ultrasounds, and fetal monitoring. Check with your doctor or midwife for their policies and professional opinion on how to do so. All medical facilities are taking appropriate precautions to assure your health is protected during your prenatal appointments.
If you are making an adoption plan and need help finding a doctor that will see you during this time, please do not hesitate to contact Adoptions With Love for support. We can connect you with a quality and compassionate healthcare provider in your area.
- How can I maintain a safe pregnancy during this time?
There are many ways to protect yourself and those around you from COVID-19. In fact, these recommendations are the same as those for the general public, including:
- Get vaccinated/get a booster when eligible.
- Wear a face mask when in public (click here for guidelines on proper mask use) The CDC recommends using these types of masks.
- Practice social distancing when indoors (at least 6 feet between others)
- Thorough and frequent handwashing (when soap and water are unavailable, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol).
- Avoid touching your face.
- Avoid groups gatherings, especially large groups.
- Test to prevent spreading COVID-19 to others. Health insurance companies are now covering the costs of at-home test kits.
- Frequently clean and disinfect household surfaces.
- Focus on boosting your own immune system with extra nutrients, water, and sleep.
- Stay home if you are feeling unwell, even if it just feels like allergies or a common cold.
- Contact your doctor immediately if you experience common COVID-19 symptoms.
- Can COVID-19 be passed from a pregnant woman to a fetus or newborn?
Most newborns born to birth mothers who had COVID-19 during pregnancy do not have COVID-19 when they are born, according to the CDC. Some newborns have tested positive shortly after birth, but it is unknown if these infants caught the virus before, during, or after birth. Most babies who test positive have been reported as having experienced mild to no symptoms before fully recovering.
- How will COVID impact my delivery and hospital stay?
If you are far along in your pregnancy, you may be concerned about your stay in the hospital. Fear not: the medical teams at hospitals around the country are taking extra precautions to keep pregnant patients (and their babies) safe and healthy.
While your time at the hospital may be a bit different than standard routine – i.e. some hospitals are restricting visitors – your birth experience and care will be the same. The staff at Massachusetts General Hospital, for example, are trained in infection prevention practices to prevent the spread of any infectious diseases. It is best to check with your own health care provider for more information on what to expect from your delivery and hospital stay.
If you are making an adoption plan with Adoptions With Love, we will continue to ensure your delivery and hospital stay go as planned. We will make certain you have the care team you deserve, and that you are comfortable with every measure. We can also be at the hospital with you and will take every precaution to ensure we keep you safe.
- What will happen after giving birth?
No matter the circumstances, there are an array of feelings you can expect after delivery. You may experience joy as well as sadness and fear of what comes next. These are normal emotions. During this pandemic, your worries may feel a bit more escalated, and you may experience feelings of loneliness with fewer visitors able to enter the delivery room. However, do not be concerned. Many hospitals are offering great, alternative means of support as you cope with these feelings post-birth. For example, Massachusetts General Hospital has been offering postpartum support via telehealth solutions. Support groups are also happening virtually and remotely. And of course, Adoptions With Love is always available to help you through this time. We can talk on the phone 24/7 or meet you wherever you are for a safe visit.
- Is Adoptions With Love still working with expectant/birth mothers at this time?
As always, the dedicated team at Adoptions With Love continues to work with expectant/birth mothers. Especially during this time of uncertainty and fear, our loving staff is here to discuss any of the concerns and questions you may have about your pregnancy, birth, and adoption plan. We are always here for you, 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. Our staff is in the office, and we have many counselors working remotely who can also speak with you. If you need to meet us in person, we can arrange a safe visit.
Whether you have just found out you are pregnant or you are due any day now, we understand that this can be a scary situation – pandemic or not. The ever-growing number of COVID-19 cases and 24-hour news cycle can make anyone rattled. It is best, for your own sanity, to turn it off for a bit and focus on your health and your adoption plan. This is where we can step in and help.
Adoptions With Love has helped many expectant/birth parents and adoptive parents throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. If you would like to read some of these positive outcome stories from the perspective of the adoptive parents, check out the following:
Call us anytime for support. We are here to listen. Reach out to us by phone at 1-800-722-7731, text us confidentially at 1-617-777-0722, or contact us online. Let us guide you through your pregnancy and ease your mind during this coronavirus outbreak.