THIS CONTENT WAS PRODUCED FOR JOHNSON'S BABY BY the foundry @ MEREDITH CORP. Parents EDITORIAL STAFF WAS NOT INVOLVED IN ITS CREATION OR PRODUCTION.

Home

What to Ask Your Doctor as You Approach Birth During the Pandemic

Preparing to give birth during the COVID-19 pandemic can be daunting, but keeping the lines of communication with your doctor open can help put you at ease. Inspired by Johnson’s Baby’s commitment to being #InItTogether and supporting the health and well-being of babies and their families during the outbreak, we’re sharing some key questions you may want to ask your doctor in preparation for having a baby during the novel coronavirus.

How is the hospital adapting to accommodate births during this time?

Every hospital has a different policy in place for managing the novel coronavirus pandemic, which is why it’s important to get specific information about where you’ll be delivering. Consider asking for information on things like what they’re doing to keep patients safe and what you can do to minimize your exposure to hospital staff.

How to Get the Most Out of a Conversation with Your Doctor

#1

Jot down your questions and concerns in advance so you won’t forget
to ask about something important.

Who is allowed in the room during checkups, delivery, and postpartum?

Some offices are limiting the number of people allowed at in-person visits, so you should ask if your support person can come to prenatal appointments. For the birth, ask your doctor about the specifics of the hospital’s visitor policy. Details like who is allowed in the delivery room, whether or not they can come and go from the hospital, and who can be in the operating room should you need a C-section are all important to know.

How is the hospital treating mothers who are COVID-19 positive?

If you’ve tested positive for COVID-19, you should let your doctor know immediately and ask how it could affect your birth plan. Ask questions about whether or not you’ll be in an isolation room and if that room will be in the labor and delivery unit or a different part of the hospital. Find out if you’ll be separated from your baby postpartum and what the hospital’s policies are on breastfeeding in this situation.

How to Get the Most
Out of a Conversation
with Your Doctor #1

Jot down your questions and concerns
in advance so you won’t forget
to ask about something important.

How to Get the Most Out of a Conversation with Your Doctor

#2

Consider having a close friend, family member, or partner with you to act as a second set of ears.

In what ways is the birthing process different during the pandemic?

According to Dr. Kimberly Marakovits, D.O., an OB-GYN in Massachusetts, the actual labor and birthing process is generally the same for patients who do not have COVID-19 symptoms. However, she does recommend asking whether you will need to wear a mask during labor and if you should plan to go home earlier than usual post-delivery to decrease your risk of exposure to the virus.

What are some safe exercises I can do at home?

Staying active can boost your mood, ease anxiety, and increase your stamina while preparing for having a baby during COVID-19. Consider asking your doctor for things you can safely do in the comfort of your own home, such as weight training, cardio workouts, or prenatal yoga.

How will the current situation affect doctor visits going forward?

To avoid unnecessary exposure to the virus, ask if your doctor’s office is offering telemedicine visits. If telemedicine is possible, make sure you have the appropriate equipment. Your doctor might want you to have things like a blood pressure cuff, scale, or fetal doppler. You can also discuss other options, like spacing out your checkups or scheduling appointments to have blood work and ultrasound sessions at the same time.

How to Get the Most
Out of a Conversation
with Your Doctor #2

Consider having a close friend,
family member, or partner with you
to act as a second set of ears.

Are there any breathing exercises I can do to stay calm?

In the weeks leading up to childbirth, you might want to start practicing meditation and breathing techniques to decrease anxiety and help you prepare for labor during the novel coronavirus. Your doctor can recommend exercises to help you remain calm and comfortable. You might also find resources like Expectful — an app with the world’s largest library of guided meditations for fertility, pregnancy, and parenthood — to be beneficial.

How to Get the Most Out of a Conversation with Your Doctor

#3

Take notes about everything your doctor says for future reference.

What are some precautionary steps I can take to prevent illness in the weeks leading up to birth?

According to Dr. Marakovits, there is no evidence that pregnant women have an increased risk of becoming severely ill from COVID-19, but she suggests having a conversation with your doctor about whether or not you should be going out in public, wearing a mask, and working from home. Your doctor can give you tips to help lower your risk of exposure.

How to Get the Most
Out of a Conversation
with Your Doctor #3

Take notes about
everything your doctor
says for future reference.

Once I go into labor, how long should I wait before going to the hospital?

If you’re having contractions or think your water broke at home, call your doctor’s office. They’ll help you determine if it’s time to come to the hospital. You shouldn’t be afraid to go, especially if it could be an emergency, so find out now which situations could require an immediate visit.

When should I bring my baby to the new pediatrician?

Newborns typically visit the pediatrician during their first week and then every month or so for a year. In light of the current situation, you might want to ask your doctor if any of these appointments can or should be done virtually. If not, ask what you can do to keep yourself and your baby safe during these visits.

Johnson’s Baby is committed to supporting expectant mothers and their families during this unprecedented time. Visit them for more tips on caring for your little one. This story was published on 5/7/2020. The COVID-19 situation is always changing, so check the CDC website for the most up-to-date information.