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Wear the Gown: Pregnant during a pandemic

Dr. Sean Blackwell with UT Physicians said women who contract COVID-19 while pregnant are typically admitted to the hospital, even if they only have minor symptoms.

HOUSTON — Pregnancy is typically a special time, full of excitement and anticipation. But the outbreak of the coronavirus has left many expectant mothers feeling fearful and anxious.

Dr. Sean Blackwell, who specializes in high-risk pregnancies, said women who contract COVID-19 while pregnant are typically admitted to the hospital, even if they only have minor symptoms.

All pregnant women are tested for COVID-19 when they come into the hospital to give birth.

“We’re seeing anywhere between 15 percent to 20 percent of the women be COVID positive, and a large percentage of those women are asymptomatic,” said Dr. Blackwell with UT Physicians.

Regardless, Dr. Blackwell said patients who test positive are put in isolation after delivery. 

“Sometimes the mom and the baby have to be separated after birth to minimize the risk of the baby acquiring COVID,” Dr. Blackwell said.

But can COVID-19 be passed to a child in utero?

Dr. Blackwell said so far, there is no evidence of this happening. Hospitals are testing babies within 72 hours of birth.

Dr. Blackwell said while patients can be nervous about seeing their healthcare provider, he doesn’t want women to skip out on prenatal care.

“Staying at home or avoiding coming in isn’t healthy. Call your healthcare provider. Don’t make that decision on your own," he said.

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