OU Med taking extra steps to protect mother and child during birth amid coronavirus pandemic

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Some women who are pregnant may have even higher concerns about contracting COVID-19 but OU Medical tells News 4 they’re taking extra steps to protect mothers during childbirth.

“We don’t really have any evidence that pregnant women are more likely to get infected with this virus,” said Rodney Edwards, MD, OU Med. Chief of Maternal-Fetal Medicine.

Edwards answered questions you may have about your unborn child and COVID-19. Such as if you’re infected and pregnant, can you pass the virus on to your child.

“So far it’s not clear whether vertical transmission with COVID-19 is possible,” Edwards said. “Our best understanding is that a child born to a woman that is infected with COVID-19 is most at risk for getting the infection from his or her mother the same way one of us would get the infection. Respiratory droplets.”

Saying if you’re pregnant and start experiencing symptoms of the coronavirus, it’s important to contact your local health care provider, and you may have to even quarantine yourself.

“If significant worsening symptoms, shortness of breath, high fever. Those sorts of things might prompt a call to their provider or a visit to a hospital,” Edwards said.

If the nursing mother has tested positive for the virus, the hospital is recommending separation from the child.

“The main concern for the baby would be getting exposed to respiratory droplets from mother,” Edwards said.

So far there’s no evidence that COVID-19 can be transmitted by breast milk. So, Edwards says you can still pump milk for your baby. They will just have to be bottle fed.

He also says the hospital is taking extra precautions during delivery, to keep both mom and baby safe.

“In the children’s hospital we’ve started having everyone wear a mask. We’ve been limiting visitors to the hospital,” Edwards said.

Dr. Edwards says in the delivery room doctors are now wearing N-95 masks as well.

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