What are the risks of COVID-19 in pregnancy?

It is known that with other viruses like influenza, pregnant women can get sicker than non-pregnant women. While we know that most pregnant persons will only experience mild symptoms, there is an increased risk of severe complications including hospitalization, admission to ICU, and premature delivery. 

At this time we are not aware of any evidence of vertical transmission (passing the COVID-19 infection to the baby through the placenta).  The majority of complications for babies are related to the need to deliver them prematurely in order to stabilize and care for mom.

How are we keeping you safe in our office?

  • We are doing most of our visits in person with strict COVID protocols in place to keep both our patients and staff safe and healthy.
  • When you arrive to the clinic please text the number on the door and we will bring you in as soon as we have a room available for you.  You will asked COVID-19 screening questions prior to entering the clinic and will be provided with a medical mask if you do not have one.
  • If you have travelled outside of Canada in the 14 days before your office appointment, please call the office before your appointment so appropriate arrangements can be made to re-schedule your appointment
  • If you have respiratory symptoms and/or fever, please DO NOT ENTER the office. Please call the office in advance so that we can plan for safe care for all our patients.
  • Our office will be limited to patients only (any other visitors accompanying you will be asked to wait outside the office). In the case of requiring a translator, an exception will be made.
  • To best protect all patients, Abbotsford Hospital has also limited visitors to one visitor per patient for your entire stay.
  • Please note we will no longer be providing a courtesy screening/reminder call prior to your next visit and you will be provided with the details for your next appointment before you leave the office.

How can you protect yourself and your family?

  • We strongly encourage getting your COVID-19 Vaccine and encourage your loved ones to do the same.   Did you know pregnant persons (at any point in their pregnancy) are now being priortized to receive their COVID-19 vaccine?  To register for your vaccine it is an easy 2 step process:

1)Register at gov.bc.ca/getvaccinated

2)then phone the Call Centre at 1-833-838-2323 to identify yourself as pregnant

Given the increased risk to pregnant women, it is strongly recommended by the BC Minister of Health, the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada (SOGC) and the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) for women to get their COVID-19 at any point in the pregnancy or while breastfeeding.

We understand this is a big decision in considering what is best for you and your baby.  We support the current recommendation to vaccinate pregnant and breastfeeding persons based national and international data on the known increased risk if infected with COVID-19 vs the theoretical risk of side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine. Your maternity physician is happy to discuss this further and answer your questions to the best of our ability.

  • Stay home as much as possible to limit the spread of COVID-19
  • Wear a medical grade mask
  • Social Distance (at least 6m apart)
  • Wash your hand regularly with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Adhere to the policies put in place by Dr. Bonnie Henry and the BC Ministry of Health

Please download the handout (at the bottom of this screen) on steps you can take to protect your baby from COVID-19.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Persons infected with COVID-19 may be completely asymptomatic or very unwell with severe respiratory symptoms requiring hospitalization and ICU support.  The most common symptoms are fever/chills, cough, difficulty breathing and loss of smell/taste.

For a complete list of symptoms click here

What do you do if you feel unwell?

If you have mild symptoms please self-isolate at home, do not go to the hospital, and review the links below for more guidance.  Please rest and hydrate, Tylenol can be used safely if needed, and if you are over 28 weeks pregnant you can perform daily fetal movement counting.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19, consider not testing for at least 48 hours after the onset of symptoms to decrease the chance of having a false negative.  Testing is being performed at UFV. 

To book an appointment to get tested click book your COVID-19 test

If positive, please call our office to advise your maternity care provider.

You can call 811 at any time to speak to a nurse and get advice about how you are feeling.

Please avoid going to the Emergency Room or Maternity Triage for COVID-19 testing; Emergency services (including maternity triage) is to provide care is for patients with severe symptoms of COVID-19 or with acute pregnancy concerns.

 

Further information on COVID-19 & Pregnancy: