At Forward Fertility, we’ve been able to help women have healthy pregnancies and safe deliveries since we were founded in 2013. While the outbreak of the coronavirus is a deep cause for concern for us and our clients, there is some preliminary good news about how pregnant women are taking steps to stay healthy and safe.
Social distancing still means you can get care – This week the federal Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights temporarily relaxed some HIPPA requirements in order for doctors to use their personal cell phones to provide telehealth services (using encryption and privacy settings is also advised). The HHS also said providers can use more discretion on copays so that cost wouldn’t be a barrier to care.
Wash your hands and stay home is still the best advice to avoid getting sick – We need tests now. We need a vaccine now. But we also have to make the best personal choices for ourselves and our families if we are going to #FlattenTheCurve and stop a big spike in numbers of people contracting the coronavirus and flooding hospitals with COVID-19 cases. We stumbled across this funny-yet-serious “idiot’s guide to coronavirus from an emergency physician” and the dos and don’ts are all good advice.
If you’re in your third trimester, your plans may be shifting – We are working with our gestational carriers and parents-to-be to make birthing plans that include the possibility that hospitals and doctors will be busy with COVID-19 cases. Jezebel talked to obstetricians and doulas about what questions parents have about altering birth plans and gave some frank advice about how to balance navigating a limited healthcare system with your best interests in staying safe. Preparing emotionally that the birth may not be what you envisioned is an important exercise to go through.
Another good piece of news: a study of a few women with COVID-19 who gave birth in Wuhan, China suggests that the coronavirus isn’t transmitted in childbirth. This article from the New York Times offers some additional data that shows some children DO have severe cases and of those children and about 1/3 of those with severe symptoms were infants less than 12 months old.
Even while working remotely, we’re here for our carriers and our parents-to-be who are doing everything they can to stay healthy during these uncertain times. Wash your hands, stay home, stay calm, and call us if you have questions.