Grand Traverse Women’s Clinic Statement Concerning Obstetrical Recommendations During COVID-19 Pandemic
COVID-19 is a highly contagious and therefore rapidly spreading illness. Even before symptoms appear, you could be exposed without realizing it. Because you are pregnant, you have a somewhat reduced immune response and are more likely to catch any contagious illness. Please understand that medical evidence thus far suggests that you and your fetus are not at increased risk for severe illness and death if you are otherwise healthy. You may be at greater risk if you have other medical conditions or chronic illnesses.
Information concerning the risk to newborn infants born to COVID-19 positive patients is limited. To reduce exposure to newborns, Munson Medical Center’s current policy is to separate the COVID-19 positive mother from her newborn infant. This is not desirable but may be essential to avoid newborn illness. This will obviously have an impact on bonding and breast feeding. We realize this could also be emotionally distressing. The best way to decrease this possibility is to avoid exposure and illness. We have the following recommendations to reduce the risk of exposure and illness for you and your labor partner.
Maintaining Social Spacing and Good Hygiene
- Work from home when possible. If this is not an option, when you reach 36 weeks or more in your pregnancy, we recommend that you consider leaving the workforce and begin maternity leave to avoid exposure/illness and positive test results near the time of delivery. This will reduce the possibility of you being separated from your newborn. This is not considered a disability recommendation. You will need to discuss the consequences of this action with your work place in terms of benefits and pay.
- We are also considering ways to provide telemedicine to reduce the need for office visits. We will let you know when these options are in place.
- Stay home and avoid non-essential activity and social gatherings, even with family members.
- Have someone else do the shopping and errands.
- Limit visitors in your home.
- Everyone including yourself should wash their hands with soap and water for twenty seconds BEFORE contact with others and surfaces in your home. This will decrease contaminating your loved ones and your home.
- If you must go out consider the following;
- Wear a fabric covering over your mouth and nose (scarf, bandanna, ) so that you avoid touching your mouth and nose until you can return home and wash your hands.
- Touch as few objects, surfaces, and other people as possible.
- Maintain spacing of six feet as much as possible. This includes avoiding hugging, kissing, handshakes, fist bumps etc.
- If you don’t have access to soap and water, use hand sanitizer or antiseptic wipes.
- Avoid take-out and delivery food items that are not in original packaging.
Recommendations Concerning Avoiding Exposure And Illness To You And Others If Someone In Your Home Is Positive For COVID-19 Or Is Under Investigation
- They should consider wearing a covering over their mouth and nose even within your home, you should too. This decreases exposure to the virus.
- They should be in isolation within your home or live elsewhere if possible for approximately two weeks from the time of first symptom or positive test result.
- They should separate from the rest of the occupants in the home to reduce exposure to everyone else. If possible they should have a room to themselves to rest and recover. You should not sleep in the same room if possible.
- If they must share spaces with others, try to maintain six feet of distance.
- They should not eat in the same spaces, especially at the same time, with yourself and others.
- They should not prepare food for others. Someone else should prepare food for them if possible. If they need to use the kitchen, they should wash their hands with soap and water for twenty seconds before and after touching surfaces and handling food items.
- These surfaces should be wiped down either with soap and water or sanitizing solutions.
- They should use disposable items for eating and Discard them immediately. Non-disposable items should immediately be placed in a dishwasher or washed with soap and hot water. Wash hands after handling these items.
- They should use a separate bathroom if They should sanitize the surfaces after use and wash hands before and after touching surfaces. If they are not well enough to do so, someone else should do it.
We sincerely have you and your baby’s best interests in mind, we wish you well. If you have any further questions please discuss them with your provider or call our office at 231-392-0650.