Frequently asked questions:
COVID-19

The COVID-19 outbreak has caused a lot of stress and worry for all parents – expecting or new. The Mother Baby Center wants to be a resource for you to get all of your questions answered.

COVID-19, also known as coronavirus, is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person.

Symptoms of COVID-19 can range from mild to severe, and can include:

  • Fever.
  • Cough.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Runny nose or nasal congestion.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Decreased sense of smell or taste.

If you think you have symptoms of COVID-19, please call your pregnancy care provider or primary care provider. Your provider will review your symptoms over the phone then recommend next steps: Staying home, going to a testing site or clinic for evaluation, or going to the emergency department.

If you have severe shortness of breath and need to see a health care provider, please call ahead then have someone drive you to the nearest clinic or emergency department.

Yes; however, early data suggests that most pregnant people with COVID-19 do not become sicker than non-pregnant people with the illness. Because this is a new virus, health care providers are not yet certain that this is true for all cases.

We do know that pregnant people are more susceptible to other viral respiratory infections, such as influenza (the flu), the CDC predicts that pregnant people may experience more severe COVID-19 symptoms than the general population.

As with the flu or any other virus, the best ways to help protect yourself from COVID-19 are to follow these simple steps:

  • Wash your hands often with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Clean surfaces in your home with usual household cleaners and disinfectants.
  • Try to stand 6 feet away from others, do not shake hands and avoid crowds.
  • Cover your sneezes or coughs, and throw your tissues in the trash as soon as possible.

Because this is a new virus, there is not a lot of research on how COVID-19 might affect an unborn baby. At this time, it is unknown if a pregnant person with COVID-19 can pass the virus to the baby during pregnancy or delivery. However, research has not found the virus in amniotic fluid or breastmilk.

A baby is more likely to get COVID-19 after delivery if they come in contact with respiratory droplets from their parent or another person with COVID-19.

According to the CDC, high fevers during the first trimester of pregnancy can increase the risk of certain birth defects. Catching other viral respiratory infections, including the flu, during pregnancy is linked to preterm labor and low birth weight.

Prenatal care includes many important routine visits, many of which cannot happen outside of the clinic or through virtual care.

If you are healthy and have a low-risk pregnancy, Allina Health offers prenatal visits at the following points in your pregnancy:

12 weeks: Your first prenatal visit is usually when you are 12 weeks pregnant. You will have an ultrasound to estimate your due date.
20 weeks.
28 weeks.
36 weeks.
38 weeks and then weekly until you deliver your baby.

If you need to be seen more often, your pregnancy care provider will talk about this with you.

If you receive prenatal care outside of Allina Health, contact your clinic or provider to learn what prenatal visits they offer at this time.

Your clinic will call you before your next scheduled visit to talk about any changes needed to your visit schedule due to COVID-19. There may be other options like telehealth, phone and online visits as well. Any non-essential visits will be cancelled.

To protect other people, no visitors may come with you to your prenatal visits.

If you need prenatal testing, your pregnancy care provider will schedule this for you.

To provide the safest environment for expectant parents, babies, visitors, and our staff, we have updated our support person guidelines to help expectant parents know what to expect during their labor and delivery. View additional support person guidelines.

Your care provider will review all necessary labor precautions with you in the last month of your pregnancy.

Hospital births provide the reassurance that emergent care is immediately available if you or your baby need additional care. Home births can have increased risks as the response to urgent needs, such as medical or surgical emergencies or resuscitation of your baby, can be delayed.

If you have COVID-19 or symptoms of COVID-19, you will be asked to put on a mask when you arrive at the hospital, and you will be cared for in a private room. Your health care team will also wear protective equipment.

COVID-19 will not change how you deliver your baby. Most women can have a vaginal birth, but a Cesarean birth can happen with any pregnancy. If you are planning to have a vaginal birth and you have a cough, you will be asked to wear a mask as much as you are able.

If you have COVID-19 or symptoms of COVID-19, your baby is at risk of getting the virus after birth. At this time, it is unclear how COVID-19 affects babies. Because of this, the CDC, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine recommend taking steps to help prevent your baby from getting infected.

While you are in the hospital, it’s recommended that you and your baby should be in separate rooms until you are no longer contagious.

  • Your baby will have their own room.
  • Your baby will be cared for by another healthy family member or nursing staff.
  • Your baby will not have other visitors.
  • Your baby can have breastmilk that you pump or express.

If you and your baby cannot be in separate rooms or you do not want this to happen, the recommendation is for you and your baby to “room-in”, this is also known as co-location.

  • Your baby will stay in the same room.
  • Your baby will be separated from you by a distance of 6 feet.
  • You can breastfeed your baby if you wash your hands, and wear a mask and clean gloves.
  • A healthy family member will provide all other care for your baby.

This option may change depending on your health, room availability and the availability of another healthy family member.

If you have any questions about the separation, please talk with your health care team. This can be a difficult time, but your health care team is working hard to help reduce your baby’s exposure to COVID-19 while caring for you and your baby.

If you do not have symptoms of COVID -19, you will not be separated from your baby. If you have tested positive for COVID-19 or have symptoms consistent with the illness, it is possible that you may pass a virus to your baby. In this case, it is recommended that your baby is cared for in a separate room by a healthy caregiver, or that you remain at least 6 feet away from your baby until you are no longer contagious.

Hospital team members take every precaution to protect you and your baby from getting an infection while you are in our care. For this reason, you will see our staff wearing masks while they care for you and your baby. They will also wear gowns and gloves for more invasive procedures, such as delivery. Wearing protective equipment helps to protect you, your family and our staff members from COVID-19.