COVID-19 Virus Infection and Pregnancy

COVID-19 Virus Infection and Pregnancy 1

In light of the recent escalation of COVID-19 cases in Australia and around the world, it is recommended to practice protective measures such as social distancing, hand washing and other hygiene measures in order to reduce transmission as much as possible. This aims to reduce your individual risk of infection as well as hopefully “flattening the curve” of new cases to allow our health services to manage the number of people with infection.

To help slow the spread of COVID-19, the Victorian Government have introduced restrictions for people who live in 12 postcodes in Melbourne.

Under these restrictions there are only 4 reasons people can leave their home.  However, there are no restrictions for people from restricted postcodes attending healthcare facilities for medical appointments and no restrictions for people to travel into restricted postcodes for medical appointments.

We would like to reassure all of our current and new OGCG patients that they can safely attend their OGCG appointments.  We are committed to providing the highest level of care to all our patients in a safe environment.  We have multiple processes in place to ensure the safety of our patients and our staff.  In line with DHHS guidance we encourage patients to attend their appointments alone unless a support person is necessary.

If you experience any of the following symptoms: fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, runny nose, loss of smell or loss of taste, please get tested for COVID 19 and call us before attending your appointment so that alternative arrangements can be made.  We will ensure that your care continues to be provided in the safest possible way.

At O&GCG we are instating social distancing measures to reduce transmission between patients, between staff members, and between staff and patients. As a result we ask you to be flexible with your appointments. In particular, the following may be asked of you:

  • your appointment may be moved to another day and time
  • your appointment may be postponed
  • you may need to have part or all of your consultation conducted by phone
  • you may be asked to email your questions ahead of your appointment, in order to reduce the consultation time. We will aim to keep face to face consultation times less than 15 minutes.
  • you may be asked to wait for your appointment out of the waiting room, for example in your car
  • you may need to see a different doctor at your consultation to who was scheduled
  • you may need to be looked after by a doctor other than your primary Obstetrician at your delivery, even within normal working hours
    that you consider early discharge from hospital after delivery

Please continue to reduce your risk of catching coronavirus via the hand washing and hygiene measures discussed below.

Below is further information regarding COVID-19. As the government states this is a fluid situation and updates are available via the links in the document below.

COVID-19 Virus Infection and Pregnancy

We have collected this information to help you understand more of this topic. We will keep this updated as more information comes to hand.
What effect does coronavirus have on pregnant women?

As this is a new virus, there is limited information on its impact in pregnancy. To date, pregnant women do not appear to be more susceptible to the consequences of coronavirus than the general population. It is expected that the large majority of pregnant women will experience only mild or moderate cold/flu like symptoms.

There are no reported deaths of pregnant women from coronavirus.

Current advice regarding Covid-19 in pregnancy come from experience with other viruses particularly Influenza and the SARS epidemic in 2002. If you are pregnant you are more vulnerable to getting infections than a woman who is not pregnant. Pregnant women with influenza are more likely to require hospital admission than the general population, and are at increased risk of more severe complications from influenza.

What effect will coronavirus have on my baby if I am diagnosed with the infection?

A recent Lancet study of 9 pregnant women infected with Covid-19 in China did not demonstrate evidence of vertical transmission (virus passing from mother to baby while pregnant). While the number is small, it is still reassuring news. Prior experience with SARS and MERS also did not demonstrate any vertical transmission. It is therefore considered unlikely that infection in the mother will cause abnormalities in the baby.
Previous studies with SARS during pregnancy did show greater risks of pregnancy complications such as miscarriage, preterm birth, intrauterine growth restrictions, and ICU admission. However there were fewer such complications in the current study.

COVID-19 and elective surgery

To read more about what you need to know in regards to COVID-19 and elective surgeries, please read this fact sheet.

What can I do to reduce my risk of catching coronavirus?

RANZCOG advises the following preventative measures:

  • Hand washing  regularly and frequently with an alcohol based hand rub or soap and water
  • Avoidance  of anyone who is coughing and sneezing
  • Avoid touching  eyes, nose and mouth
  • Early reporting  and investigation of symptoms and prompt access to appropriate treatment and supportive measures if infection is significant.

These measures are useful for reducing infection risk in general, and not just for coronavirus.

Flu vaccine

This year will be particularly important. While it will not influence response to Covid-19 infection, it will reduce everyone’s risk of influenza as we come into flu season in Australia.

As a precautionary measure in line with social distancing practices we ask that you attend your appointment alone.

If you are experiencing a cough, fever or shortness of breath please call ahead of your appointment. 9329 6668

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