COVID-19 and motherhood: What to ask your health care provider

May 4, 2020

Updated  December 4, 2020

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has changed so much for all of us. If you’re pregnant, this pandemic has most likely affected your prenatal care, how you are preparing for delivery and for returning home with your new baby.  The information about COVID-19 is changing quickly. All of these changes can be overwhelming. Make sure you are finding ways to cope with the additional stress and anxiety that COVID-19 has brought on.

At this time, there’s still a lot of unknowns about COVID-19. Health officials are actively collecting data to better understand the disease and report on that information daily. Your health care provider can help you find answers to your questions. The list of questions below can help you stay up-to-date and advocate for yourself.

During pregnancy

All questions are important because they can help ease your worries. Ask your provider to answer all of your questions, like:

  • How will my prenatal care visits change?
  • Should I do anything differently to protect myself from COVID-19 while pregnant?
  • Is it still safe for me to go to work while pregnant?
  • What should I do if I develop COVID-19 symptoms?
  • Are there medications that are safe to take if I get COVID-19?
  • Does being pregnant mean that I’m high risk for getting sick from COVID-19?
  • What can happen to me or my baby if I get COVID-19?
  • Can I pass COVID-19 to my baby?
  • Will my birth plan change if I get COVID-19?
  • Is it safe for me to deliver in a hospital at this time?
  • Can a support person be with me during labor and delivery?
  • Will I be tested for COVID-19 before giving birth?

Preparing for postpartum care

Now is a great time to plan what support you will have after giving birth. Here are some questions you may ask:  

  • What safety measures are hospitals and health care teams taking to prevent moms and babies from getting COVID-19?
  • Can my support person visit or stay with me after my baby is born?
  • Can I have visitors in my room after giving birth?
  • Is it safe to have my baby in my room (rooming-in) after I give birth?
  • If I have or may have COVID-19, how can I safely breastfeed my baby?
  • Is it safe to have skin-to-skin contact with my baby, if I have or may have COVID-19?
  • What are providers doing to ensure safe postpartum checkups?
  • What postpartum warning signs should I be aware of?

Bringing your baby home  

Bringing your baby home from the hospital is a very exciting time. Have a plan to prevent your baby from being exposed to COVID-19. Your provider can answer questions like:

  • When is it safe to have visitors at my home?
  • What can I do to help prevent my newborn from getting COVID-19?
  • How can I safely take my new baby to wellness and vaccination appointments?
  • If I have or may have COVID-19, will I need to self-isolate (stay-apart) from my baby?
  • What can I do if I feel overwhelmed, sad, or too anxious?

This is only a guide with possible questions to ask. We encourage you to seek all of the answers you need by asking your provider, your chosen birthing facility, and your newborn’s provider. 

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