Taking pregnancy, birth safety precautions during COVID-19 pandemic

Posted at 11:56 AM, Apr 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-21 16:46:10-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — While pregnant women aren't necessarily in the high-risk group for COVID-19, they can be more susceptible to infection. The UK Midwife Clinic is taking extra precautions to make sure their journey into motherhood is as healthy as possible.

"Babies are still getting born and prenatal care still has to happen,” said Director and Chief Midwife Dee Polito. “We’ve really had to scale back on bringing women into the clinic to keep them safe, to keep ourselves safe, to keep our staff safe from exposure to the coronavirus.”

Polito says more telehealth appointments are being done to minimize physical contact and all staff members are wearing protective gear, like masks. Precautions are also being taken during birth, like limiting the amount of people in the room.

"She can’t have more than one visitor or support person, although at UK we are supportive of the presence of a doula if the mother has hired a doula, which is a labor support system,” said Polito. "We consider the doula to be part of the birth team.”

Polito also says some women question being in a hospital during the pandemic. Those concerns have led some to choose a different birth plan. Sarah Hood with Home Sweet Home midwifery says she’s gotten more calls about doing a home birth.

"The people that have mostly transferred to my care… they’ve kind of considered it before, but they just chose the hospital for whatever reason and this is kind of tipping them over the edge,” said Hood.

Either way, midwives just want to make sure women are taking safe steps to bring a healthy baby into the world.