Coronavirus COVID-19 and Pregnancy Update from Hawthorne Midwives
If you’ve been listening to the news lately, you’ve certainly heard about Coronavirus COVID-19. We’d like to help you understand what is going on, and how your family can stay safe through your pregnancy and birth.
What is Coronavirus COVID-19?
Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a virus that seems to have originated in Wuhan Province of China, and has now spread across the world to over 60 countries, with over 100,000 cases reported and over 3,100 deaths worldwide. Coronavirus has come to Canada and is slowly spreading amongst our communities, though there are fewer than 200 cases currently reported. The virus is evolving and spreading quickly worldwide, and these locations may change.
Common symptoms of Coronavirus COVID-19 include:
- Trouble breathing
These symptoms could also be caused by lots of other things!
Coronavirus COVID-19 is spread through droplet contact (sneezing, coughing). At this point, we believe it can live on touched surfaces for up to a day. At this point, we believe people can have it in their bodies, and not show any symptoms yet, for up to two weeks. Once people fall sick, it may take a few weeks or more to recover.
Most people with Coronavirus will make a full recovery.
What do we know about Coronavirus COVID-19 in Pregnancy?
The Society of Obstetrics and Gynecologists of Canada has released advice and Guidelines on COVID-19 and Pregnancy. In general, birth plans should remain the same, and breastfeeding is still recommended in most circumstances, even in the presence of COVID-19, though parents are recommended to use personal protective equipment.
However, we know that in pregnancy you are more susceptible to infection and may be more vulnerable. We strongly advise practicing social distancing, excellent hand hygiene, and respiratory etiquette.
How can I protect myself, my baby, and my family?
Current recommendations include:
- Wash your hands frequently
- Stay home if you are sick, and limit your contact with sick people
- Avoid touching your face
- Practice social distancing, meaning avoiding crowded places and unnecessary outings from the home.
- Consider altering any upcoming travel plans. Advice about travel warnings to affected areas, and other safety considerations are being updated frequently.
- If you have family members coming for the birth or postpartum from an affected area in the world, please talk to your midwife.
- At this point, Canada is NOT recommending you wear a face mask, unless you are sick.
What is being done in the Halton Region, at Milton Hospital, and by Hawthorne Midwives?
First of all, risk remains low in the Halton Region. However, Public Health, Milton Hospital, and Hawthorne Midwives are working hard to protect the community.
At Hawthorne Midwives:
- Your upcoming prenatal appointments may be rescheduled to essential visits only. This will be communicated to you in advance
- You will be asked to come alone to your appointments or with essential people (like translators). We ask your kids and partners to stay at home.
- Your prenatal appointments may be shorter, for assessments only, followed by phone calls from your midwives to answer questions and discuss your needs more fully.
- All cleaning protocols are being enhanced after every visit, and at the beginning and end of every clinic day.
- All clients are screened upon coming to the clinic. If they have symptoms, they are being asked to return home and call their midwife.
- All clients will be screened over the phone before home visits and home births.
- You may still choose to have your baby at hospital or at home, with proper screening.
At Milton Hospital:
- Clients are being limited to 1 support person in labour and in postpartum, you may ALSO bring a doula if you have hired one. This person will likely be unable to leave and return, rather will need to stay present and not leave the hospital. Additional family members will not be able to wait in the waiting rooms.
- Clients and support people will be screened on entry. They will be asked to park near and enter through Maternal Newborn.
For more information on COVID-19 in the community, you can reach the external COVID-19 Hotline through Milton District Hospital at 905-203-7963.
What if I think I have Coronavirus COVID-19? What should I do?
If you have the symptoms listed above, and especially if you have a recent travel history or have been in close contact with someone who has recently traveled, you should do the following:
- Page your midwife
- STAY HOME, please do not come to clinic.
- Call 311 (Public Health Ontario) to see if you qualify for COVID-19 Screening. Please do not go to the hospital, Public Health will make you an appointment.
- For more information go to Halton.ca or
Choice of Birth place night on March 31,2020 will be cancelled. We are currently looking into options so that we can do the meeting virtually. We will let you know as soon we have come up with the plan.
We will plan to keep you up to date on a regular basis of any changes or updates.
With kind regards,
The Midwives and Staff at Hawthorne Midwives
We will try to keep you updated as this situation changes.