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Planning a doctor's visit during COVID -19? Why not book an online video consultation

 Giving Birth in Hospital During a Pandemic - Take a Look at Safety Precautions

COVID-19 has impacted the lives of billions of people across the planet. It is difficult to do anything that is not impacted by the novel coronavirus. The virus continues to spread across the country. Because of the pandemic, many pregnant women are wondering whether giving birth in a hospital is safe right now or not. They are considering home births for avoiding hospitals and other pregnant women with COVID-19 in the delivery ward.

Yes, you will find people with a severe case of coronavirus in the hospital. But, there are protocols in most of the places for identifying people with the symptoms of coronavirus and quarantining them away from everyone else. So, you don’t have to be concerned. All you must do is verify that the hospital adheres to the infection control policies.

But, even if the hospital is following all the guidelines, you have to protect yourself too. You must follow good hand hygiene and wipe down any surfaces that you will come into contact with such as the bed tailings. You must check for any people who are sneezing and coughing, and steer clear of them. Also, you have to be your own advocate. If you find any hospital worker who is sneezing or coughing and posing a risk of spreading germs, you can talk to an administrator.

• The key to protecting yourself at the doctor’s office is staying away from sick people and practicing good hand hygiene. • Use a hand sanitizer after touching commonly used surfaces such as seat armrests. Most of the doctor’s offices provide the sanitizer. • After you have delivered the baby, you should keep them close to you. Turn them away for avoiding contact from strangers. The hospitals use enhanced protective equipment for all the interactions with the expected mothers until their COVID-19 test results come back. If their report comes back negative, the medical staff will switch to the standard PPE. • If the woman is tested positive for coronavirus, they will be taken to a separate labor and delivery unit. There, all the nurses and doctors will be wearing enhanced PPE including N95 respirator and extra gowns. The separate wards will also have an air filtration system for managing the coronavirus. • If the mothers are against separation, the hospital will take additional precautions for minimizing the transmission risk like keeping the baby 6 feet away from the mother and using a caregiver for feeding the baby.

Remember that the hospital and the medical staff are trying their best to keep the mother and the baby safe and hospital. The hospitals have some form of social distancing protocols in place for patients with coronavirus symptoms like keeping them in separate rooms and having them use masks. If you are concerned that delivering the baby in a hospital will increase the exposure risk should rest assured knowing that the hospitals will have strict procedures for infection control. You should also take some precautions at home. This includes keeping supplies, just in case. You will need cleaning agents for sterilizing your home, especially where you and your baby will be.

Coronavirus spreads through sneezes and coughs. So, as long as you stay six feet away and practice good hand hygiene, you will be okay.


Consultant Obstetrics & Gynecology MBBS, MD

Rainbow Children’s Hospital & BirthRigh, Banjara Hills.