By Jeanne Novas, MD 

Let’s begin with the new guest limitations at the hospitals: Moms will be allowed only one visitor during their birth and after. They will ID banded and there is no substituting. For now, a certified Doula is also allowed. We just heard New York MANDATED hospitals allow 1 visitor, so important for moms in labor! Please be aware visitors are often restricted almost every year during the flu season. Be aware we have 2 hospitals to choose from if there are any changes. We definitely DO NOT recommend home deliveries because of these policies. The American College of OBGYN has confirmed data that home deliveries result in higher maternal complications and newborn deaths and complications.

The hospitals have narrowed their entry points away from the ER and are screening all entrants, including all staff. Visitors are limited. Routine health care is canceled – no mammograms, colonoscopies or elective surgeries for now. Tours and classes are canceled, but the hospital is working on providing online group classes. We will keep you posted. The labor and delivery units are separated from the rest of the hospital and all have isolation areas. They are taking thorough measures in sanitizing and ventilating to protect you and your newborn.

During pregnancy and postpartum, your immune response is slightly diminished. Your newborn is also vulnerable to infection during the first 6 months of life. Emotional and physical stress is not good for your immune system during pregnancy. So far, there does not appear to be a large number of pregnant women contracting the virus. It is not thought to cross the placenta or get in breast milk. We still advise that you do not travel and take precautions during the Corona virus pandemic. Those are: 6 foot social distancing, frequent handwashing, clean surfaces often, cover your cough and self-isolate from anyone sick. There are some new reports: of 33 Wuhan moms with the virus, 3 newborns contracted the virus, had pneumonia, and recovered. Moms also recovered. If you or your family has symptoms of COVID 19, self-isolate. As of now, moms and newborns are not separated. Could change if more cases occur.

Problems with anxiety and depression will be rising. This may not be a time to go off meds, or stop seeing your counselor. Contact us to help you through this stressful time. Do things to reduce stress – that helps your IMMUNE SYSTEM. If pregnant you are already on prenatal vitamins – which is good for your immune system. Use Tylenol® (acetaminophen) not Motrin®. Eat foods rich in zinc and vitamin C (already in your prenatal vitamin). Consider walks, online yoga, calm apps. We offer telemedicine visits for anxiety/depression in addition to other problems.

If you are experiencing cough/fever/diarrhea, call us to direct your care. Sometimes dehydration and preterm labor can occur if pregnant and infected, and may need hospital evaluation and care. At this time, patients with coronavirus-mild symptoms are asked to stay at home and self-isolate for 2 weeks.

Our office is taking precautions to protect you and our staff. Please do not bring children or visitors to your appointments, including your husband ≠ exceptions made for need of emotional support. We will be calling you prior to your visit to screen you, and again in the office. We are conducting social distancing in the office, limiting appointments to essential visits. We are practicing infection control cleaning and methods as per hospital guidelines, sanitizing rooms between patients. If you are a low-risk pregnancy, we can discuss via telemedicine if we should reduce some of your visits. Please be aware our office already practices convenient combining of appointments for blood draw, ultrasound and non stress tests combined with the doctors visit, to minimize your exposure. Also, due to the close and prolonged contact during the 12, 20, and 30 week ultrasounds, our ultrasound tech will be gowning, gloving and wearing a mask for your scan, as per AIUM new recommendations. We will try to allow your husband in for those appointments – we will allow video of your visit for your husband if you decide to follow our current no-visitor policy.

This is a stressful time but remember that your OBGYN providers are here for you. We are constantly monitoring CDC recommendations, and working diligently to provide you with the best care.

Call us any time with questions and consider telemedicine visits with us.

Jeanne Novas MD