Frequently Asked Questions

Are pregnant people at increased risk of COVID-19?

There is very little research on whether pregnant people are at an increased risk for contracting COVID-19. In past pandemics, pregnant people were found to be at a greater risk of developing infections compared to non-pregnant people. Changes to the body and immune system during pregnancy can cause pregnant people to be more severely affected by respiratory infections. We do know that pregnant people and those who were recently pregnant are at an increased risk of developing severe illness and other complications if they contract COVID-19.

Can COVID-19 cause pregnancy complications?

People who are pregnant and have COVID-19 have a higher chance of becoming very sick than people who are not pregnant. Two recent reports looking at COVID-19 infections among people in the U.S. found that those who were pregnant had a higher chance of being admitted to intensive care and needing to be put on a ventilator.

Having severe symptoms from any illness may increase the chance of pregnancy complications, such as preterm birth (before 37 weeks of pregnancy). There have been some studies in the U.S. and other countries demonstrating a link between COVID-19 infections in pregnant people and preterm birth. It is not always clear from these reports, however, if the births happened early on their own because of the mother’s infection, if labor was induced early or a cesarean section performed due to the pregnant person’s worsening symptoms (such as respiratory distress), or if the preterm births were due to other reasons unrelated to COVID-19. More research is needed to understand the possible effects of COVID-19 in pregnancy.

Can I bring my partner and children to appointments at The Coit House?

We are not restricting partners and children from office visits at The Coit House at this time. We encourage you to operate according to your own comfort level and ask that everyone who is old enough wears a mask.

Do I have to wear a mask in labor? How many support people can I have?

Laboring clients are not required to wear a mask in labor. At this time, we are not limiting support people in labor, but we ask that they wear a mask. Per usual, encourage you to consider who you would like in your birth space at The Coit House.

In accordance with AWHONN recommendations, we continue to welcome doulas as critical support people for a laboring person and their family during the COVID-19 pandemic.

If I had the COVID vaccine, would I still need to wear a mask?

In accordance with CDC recommendations, please continue to wear a mask while in common areas of The Coit House. However, most Fika Midwifery staff has been vaccinated, and the most recent guidelines from the CDC indicate that individuals in a contained area, such as an exam room, the birth room, or your household, may remove their mask if the following conditions exist:

  • All individuals have received both doses of the COVID vaccine at least 2 weeks ago
  • Any non-vaccinated individual is low-risk for contracting COVID

How can pregnant people protect themselves?

Pregnant people should take the same precautions to avoid COVID-19 as other people. These include:

  • Get vaccinated. COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for all people 12 years and older, including people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, trying to get pregnant now, or might become pregnant in the future. Read more on vaccination below.
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If hand soap is not available, you can use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Limit interactions with people who may have been exposed to COVID-19.
  • Keep space between yourself and others. Try to stay at least 6 feet apart from people outside your household. Avoid crowded situations if you can.
  • Wear a mask, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. Ask the people around you to wear a mask and avoid contact with those who do not.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Seek medical care early if you have any symptoms of illness. Call before going to a health facility and follow the directions of your local health officials.

What if I have symptoms of COVID during pregnancy or in labor?

Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever > 100° F, cough, shortness of breath, and gastrointestinal symptoms. Please call the on call number if you are experiencing any of these symptoms so that we can direct you appropriately. In most cases, the recommendation will be for you to rest, hydrate, and recuperate at home so that you do not risk transmitting it to anyone else.

If you or anyone in your household has symptoms of COVID-19 during labor, we will require hospital transfer.

Should I switch from hospital birth to home birth because of the pandemic?

NYC Midwives nailed it with this article. In summary, if you’ve been thinking about physiologic birth and home birth and the pandemic is the final push to see if home birth is an option, we welcome you with open arms! We recognize the benefits to community birth during a pandemic as it is traditionally a setting where both the birthing person and the midwife have the most autonomy. However, choosing to give birth to your baby in the community setting is a commitment, and because every birthing person and their support people deserve to feel safe and empowered, the pandemic should not be the driving force behind your decision to give birth in your own home or at The Coit House.

Should I get the COVID vaccine during pregnancy?

All of the available evidence to date suggests that the COVID-19 vaccine is safe during any trimester of pregnancy. A new analysis of current data found that there was no increased risk of miscarriage among people who received an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine before 20 weeks of pregnancy. Likewise, previous research did not find any safety concerns for pregnant people who were vaccinated late in pregnancy or for their babies. Growing evidence about the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy demonstrates that the benefits of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine outweigh any known or potential risks. We understand, however, that vaccination decisions are deeply personal, and we support whatever you choose for yourself and your baby. More information about the COVID vaccine in pregnancy can be found here.