Welcome to part three of our pregnancy and COVID-19 series. We’ve looked at women’s concerns leading up to birth and changes during labor and delivery. Now we’re wrapping things up a look ahead and the question on everyone’s mind: When will this pandemic come to an end?
Dr. Christopher LaRussa has done lots of reading on the topic, so he gave us an educated guess.
“The prediction is the Central New York peak will probably be happening over the next two to four weeks,” LaRussa said.
The idea hospitals might be inundated with patients has women all over the country coming up with alternatives like home births. The idea women are doing this raises concerns for the pair of doctors we spoke to this week.
“I would encourage people to think very carefully about [home births.] To make sure the person they’re considering having a home birth with is licensed with the state or has an affinity with the hospital and with a collaborating physician because is it a riskier situation to put yourself in," LaRussa said.
Dr. Suchitra Kavety is the interim chair of OB/GYN at St. Josephs.
“I would say I still believe they are safest with their birth in the hospital with providers that have perhaps been managing them for their entire pregnancies,” Kavety said.
Another option for doctors to avoid problems during the peak is early inductions. This is something women and doctors are looking into for women at 39 weeks or more, Dr. LaRussa says.
“We are having women requesting as much as considering on any given day; depending on what the census is at the hospital and what our volume is offering elective induction to try and get women delivered before it starts getting worse,” LaRussa said.
Once the baby is delivered and the new mom is ready to go home, the advice to follow comes full circle, according to Dr. Kavety.
“The practice of social distancing and self-quarantining; you know they’ve just been in a hospital where there could have been exposure so I think that’s of the utmost importance,” Kavety said.
Hopefully, this series helped expectant mothers and their families gain a better understanding of how to deal with COVID-19 and pregnancy. I know speaking to these doctors helped me feel a little less nervous about mine.