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Wear The Gown: Coronavirus and childbirth

University Health System doctors explain how they keep mothers and newbornes safe during a pandemic.

SAN ANTONIO — It has been six months since the coronavirus first appeared in the U.S., and every day we continue to learn more about the disease and how it spreads. Now, we're finding out what the University Health System is doing to keep expectant mothers and their babies safe during the ongoing pandemic. 

For a mother, having a baby can be one of the most stressful things on the body. Adding coronavirus into the mix can take that stress to a much higher level. 

"I can't emphasize enough how important it is for social distancing and mask-wearing and hand-washing and avoiding being around a lot of other people when it's not necessary to do so. That's no different for pregnant women," said Dr. Sarah Page-Ramsey, an obstetrician gynecologist as well as a professor and OB/GYN residency program director at UT Health San Antonio. 

Page-Ramsey says in-person baby showers shouldn't even be a consideration at the moment, especially when there's options for alternatives. 

"They are having virtual baby showers that are a lot of fun. They can still play baby shower games, show pictures and videos, share gifts, open gifts while they are on a virtual conference with all of their friends."

When it comes time for childbirth, mothers shouldn't be hesitant to go to the hospital. 

"We want to encourage all of our patients to keep in mind that the hospital has taking great precautions to make sure the risk of infection is very minimal," Page-Ramsey said. 

They even allow a support person to be in the room at the time of delivery.

"We would recommend wearing an N-95 mask as well as a face shield, full gown and gloves to help prevent the spread of that infection."

After the baby is born, within the University Health System, the mother and baby can still bond. 

"As long as mom has a mask on and is following good hand-washing, our policy here is to allow the interaction to take place between mom and the baby, and her support person and the baby, throughout their hospital stay."

Page-Ramsey also said that doctors have seen no signs of developmental issues in newborne children whose mothers had COVID-19 during the pregnancy but were negative at the time of childbirth.

For more information about family health call (210)358-3045. You can also find the rest of our Wear The Gown stories by visiting WearTheGown.com.