COVID-19 information and visitation policies as of October 23, 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:

  • Pregnant women might be 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

Obstetrics Patients Visitation Details and Exceptions

  • Obstetrics (laboring and postpartum) patients can have up to two support persons as designated caregivers who remain with them in their treatment room.
  • The designated caregivers can remain with the patient in their treatment room for the entirety of their stay.
  • The designated caregivers may be instructed to leave the room during a procedure or test for their own safety or the safety of the patient and staff.
  • The designated caregivers must comply with MWHC visitation safety standards while in a MWHC facility.
  • The designated caregivers will be provided a visitor pass each day at the safety checkpoint entrance.
  • In addition to the designated caregivers, obstetric patients may have one general visitor a day. However, only two visitors (caregiver or general visitor) can be in the room at a time.

COVID-19 Obstetrics Patient Visitation Details and Exceptions

  • Obstetrics (laboring and postpartum) patients being tested or suspected for COVID-19 or have a positive COVID-19 test result may have up to two support persons as designated caregivers who remain with them in their treatment room.
  • The designated caregivers can remain with the patient in their treatment room for the entirety of their stay.
  • The designated caregivers may be instructed to leave the room during a procedure or test for their own safety or the safety of the patient and staff.
  • The designated caregivers must comply with the COVID-19 safety guidelines for visitation:
    • Sign a waiver acknowledging the risks of COVID-19 transmission.
    • Wear personal protective equipment including a gown, gloves, face shield, and level 1 mask always while in the patient's treatment room.
    • Review infection prevention education with the nursing staff prior to entering the patient’s treatment room.
  • The designated caregivers will be provided a visitor pass each day at the safety checkpoint entrance.
  • The designated caregivers must comply with MWHC visitation safety standards while in a MWHC facility.
  • Only designated caregivers or clergy may visit a suspected or positive COVID-19 patient. General visitation is not allowed.

Visitation for NICU

NICU Visitation Details and Exceptions

  • NICU patients can have up to two parents or legal guardians as designated caregivers. Only one designated caregiver at a time can be with the patient in their treatment room.
  • The designated caregivers can remain with the patient in their treatment room for the entirety of their stay. Only one designated caregiver at a time can be in the treatment room.
  • The designated caregivers may be instructed to leave the room during a procedure or test for their own safety or the safety of the patient and staff.
  • The designated caregivers will be provided a visitor pass each day at the safety checkpoint entrance.
  • The designated caregivers must comply with MWHC visitation safety standards while in a MWHC facility.
  • Only designated caregivers or clergy may visit NICU patients. General visitation is not allowed.

COVID-19 NICU Visitation Details and Exceptions

  • NICU patients being tested or suspected for COVID-19 or have a positive COVID-19 test result may have up to two parents or legal guardians as designated caregivers. Only one designated caregiver at a time can be with the patient in their treatment room.
  • The designated caregivers can remain with the patient in their treatment room for the entirety of their stay. Only one designated caregiver at a time can be in the treatment room.
  • The designated caregivers may be instructed to leave the room during a procedure or test for their own safety or the safety of the patient and staff.
  • The designated caregivers must comply with the COVID-19 safety guidelines for visitation:
    • Sign a waiver acknowledging the risks of COVID-19 transmission.
    • Wear personal protective equipment including a gown, gloves, face shield, and level 1 mask always while in the patients’ treatment room.
    • Review infection prevention education with the nursing staff prior to entering the patient’s treatment room.
  • The designated caregivers will be provided a visitor pass each day at the safety checkpoint entrance.
  • The designated caregivers must comply with MWHC visitation safety standards while in a MWHC facility.
  • Only designated caregivers or clergy may visit a suspected or positive COVID-19 patient. General visitation is not allowed.

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