Women & Infants: Pregnancy care is safe during coronavirus outbreak

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Doctors at Women & Infants Hospital say there is not enough evidence to determine if pregnant women are more susceptible to the novel coronavirus.

The pandemic is causing stress for expectant mothers at a time where they should be feeling excited and trying to remain calm.

Cumberland resident Marissa DeBlois will be giving birth to her second child in August at Women & Infants. With so many unknowns regarding how the virus can affect pregnant women, DeBlois has cause for concern.

“Do we really even know?” she asked. “Because the virus is so new, and nobody actually knows, so that’s unsettling.”

Like many other healthcare facilities, Women & Infants has limited the number of people allowed in doctor’s visits and delivery rooms.

“It’s a little disappointing but I understand it and respect it at the same time,” DeBlois added.

Infectious disease experts at the hospital say pregnant women should have peace of mind about the quality care they will receive.

“We are taking every precaution to keep the women who need to get pregnancy care here safe, and we still think it’s a really safe place to have a baby,” said Dr. Erika Werner, director of the Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine.

Births will go on as planned. Healthcare workers are sanitizing and as of right now, their resources are not being pulled to other Care New England hospitals, according to Dr. Werner.

Dr. Erica Hardy, director of Women & Infants’ Infectious Disease Division, said she is recommending family visits be limited during the outbreak once the baby is born.

“I think we still want to protect the number of people that are entering and exiting the house and coming in contact with each other,” she said. “It’s really about the social distancing which we know could work.”

There have not been any cases of COVID-19 at Women & Infants, according to Dr. Hardy.

Both she and Dr. Werner said there is currently no evidence suggesting that the virus can be transmitted to a fetus during pregnancy, birth or through breastfeeding.

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