COVID-19 information and visitation policies as of August 10, 2020. Learn more >>
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COVID-19 and Pregnancy

COVID-19 and Pregnancy

Mary Washington Healthcare cares about the health and safety of our pregnant moms and their babies. The following information should help answer some of your questions regarding COVID-19 testing for OB patients, visitation in the hospital, and more. If you have additional questions about COVID-19 and pregnancy, we encourage you to reach out to your OB, or call MWHC Health Link at 540.741.1100.

If you are pregnant

Here is guidance based on the latest science:

  • No evidence has shown that pregnant women are at greater risk of severe illness than other healthy adults if they get the virus.
  • It is unlikely for a woman to transmit the virus to their baby while pregnant. However, it may be possible to transmit after the baby is born via respiratory particles; wearing a mask lowers this risk.
  • There are rare reports where the virus has been detected in samples of the breastmilk, blood, placenta, and amniotic fluid of infected pregnant women.
  • The baby is unlikely to be exposed to the virus during pregnancy.
  • The virus is unlikely to cause problems with the baby’s development and no long-term problems have been found so far.

Nevertheless, if you are pregnant public health officials recommend you take certain safety precautions.

  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Stay away from public places.
  • Reduce social contact with others through social distancing.
  • Avoid anyone who has symptoms of the virus.
  • Routinely clean any surfaces after each use.
  • Refrain from touching your face.

If you are breastfeeding

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization recommend you continue to breastfeed your baby.

  • There are rare reports where the virus has been detected in samples of the breastmilk, although it remains unclear if the virus can be transmitted through breastfeeding.
  • The virus can be transmitted through coughing, sneezing, and even breathing - small droplets can spread the virus from person to person.

If you have tested positive for COVID-19 or are awaiting test results, follow these steps:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water before you touch your baby.
  • Wear a mask during feedings. Your doctor may recommend using a breast pump and avoid feeding at the breast directly until your symptoms resolve.
  • Wash your hands before touching breast pumps or any parts.
  • After pumping, clean the pump and its parts thoroughly.
  • Routinely clean and disinfect any surface you touch.

COVID-19 testing for OB patients

Upon your admission to Mary Washington or Stafford Hospital for delivery, you will be tested for COVID-19.

If you are scheduled for a c-section, you will receive a physician’s order by your OB to have a COVID-19 test done seven days prior to your scheduled procedure.

What if I test positive for COVID-19 upon admission or prior to my c-section?

We are taking extra steps to make our facilities as safe as possible so we can continue to provide quality care to our patients. If you test positive for COVID-19, special protocols are put in place to keep you, our associates and other patients safe. Except in rare occurrences where mom or baby have severe symptoms and need special care, such as the ICU or NICU, you will not be separated from your baby, even if you test positive for COVID-19.

Reducing the likelihood of exposure prior to delivery is the best way for you to have the delivery experience you’ve anticipated. These include wearing a mask outside of the home, quality handwashing, social distancing, and avoiding crowds especially non-essential outings or gatherings.

For questions, contact your OB or call MWHC Health Link at 540.741.1100.

Visitation for Labor & Delivery

One designated support person per laboring mother may accompany her during her entire hospital stay. You will be screened each time you enter the hospital.

Arriving at the Hospital

All visitors are required to comply with our safety checkpoint procedures. If you cannot comply with the following safety measures, you cannot have an in-person visit in the hospital.

  1. You will be asked questions about COVID-19 symptoms and exposure.
  2. You will have your temperature taken with an infrared thermometer.
  3. You will be given a visitor badge each day you visit. You must always keep the badge on while in the hospital.
  4. Limit the items you bring from home to only essential needs and those that can be cleaned with disinfectant wipes. These include phones, tablets, charger, hearing aids, dentures, and glasses.

During Your Visit

  1. You must always wear a mask while in the hospital. Please bring a mask with you. MWHC will supply you with one mask if you do not already have one. Wear your mask securely over your nose and mouth.
  2. Practice social distancing while in the facility. You must stay in the patient’s room and cannot accompany them to tests outside of their room.
  3. Practice good handwashing while in the hospital.
  4. There are limited food options for visitors while in the hospital. If you or the patient orders outside food to be delivered, the person placing the order must coordinate directly with the restaurant to pick up and receive the food at the main entrance of the hospital. The individual making the delivery will not be permitted beyond the entry checkpoint. Security and staff cannot receive the food and deliver to the room. You can remove your mask to eat. If a provider or other staff member enters the room, you must re-apply your mask.

Visitation for NICU

Visitation is limited to one parent/guardian at a time for patients who are minors. Parents/guardians may swap at the patient safety checkpoint located at the main entrance of the hospital. Patients include newborns in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Mary Washington Hospital and Intermediate Level Nursery (ILN) at Stafford Hospital.

Visitors to the NICU and ILN are not limited to the noon-8:00 p.m. visitation for other inpatient areas of the hospital. Parents are welcome at any time. Please note that you will be screened each time you enter the hospital.

Arriving at the Hospital

All visitors are required to comply with our safety checkpoint procedures. If you cannot comply with the following safety measures, you cannot have an in-person visit in the hospital.

  1. You will be asked questions about COVID-19 symptoms and exposure.
  2. You will have your temperature taken with an infrared thermometer.
  3. You will be given a visitor badge each day you visit. You must always keep the badge on while in the hospital.
  4. Limit the items you bring from home to only essential needs and those that can be cleaned with disinfectant wipes. These include phones, tablets, charger, hearing aids, dentures, and glasses.

During Your Visit

  1. You must always wear a mask while in the hospital. Please bring a mask with you. MWHC will supply you with one mask if you do not already have one. Wear your mask securely over your nose and mouth.
  2. Practice social distancing while in the facility. You must stay in the patient’s room and cannot accompany them to tests outside of their room.
  3. Practice good handwashing while in the hospital.
  4. There are limited food options for visitors while in the hospital. If you or the patient orders outside food to be delivered, the person placing the order must coordinate directly with the restaurant to pick up and receive the food at the main entrance of the hospital. The individual making the delivery will not be permitted beyond the entry checkpoint. Security and staff cannot receive the food and deliver to the room. You can remove your mask to eat. If a provider or other staff member enters the room, you must re-apply your mask.

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