Coronavirus And Expectant Mothers: New Protocols for Pregnancy and Delivery

Apr 20, 2020

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists reports that based on available data, pregnant women are not at an increased risk for the novel coronavirus. But for those women who do contract the disease, only about 4 to 5% become severely ill. WHQR reports on how local OB/GYNs are handling patients during the pandemic.

Prenatal care is changing due to the coronavirus. In-person appointments are more spaced out -- and telemedicine is being used more often. 

Dr. Sarah Gore is an OB/GYN at Wilmington Health. She says it’s still important for women to come into the office early and late in their pregnancies. And when they arrive -- the doctors are wearing proper PPE.

And Dr. Gore offers ways for pregnant women to cope with our new reality:   

“Keep your schedule throughout the day, exercise every day, but in the evenings try to turn everything off, get outside, go for a walk, do some exercises in your house.”

Dr. Gore says a partner or support person is allowed in labor and delivery after passing a temperature screening, but she also has this warning: 

“I would plead with the community to please not lie about these symptoms. I know there are reports of other places in the United States where fathers or support people are saying that they haven't had symptoms when they have [...].We need to protect our moms; we need to protect our babies; and we need to protect our staff.”

But if a pregnant woman contracts COVID-19, Dr. Gore says the doctors at the hospital are ready to deliver her baby safely. And from the research thus far -- breastmilk does not appear to contain the virus. 

And she says, yes, NHRMC is taking care of multiple patients who have tested positive for the virus -- and we all need to continue practicing physical distancing for the sake of the community -- and for our mothers-to-be. 


The following is an in-person appointment schedule for expectant mothers, according Dr. Sarah Gore:

*This schedule is also subject to a woman’s pregnancy and medical history. And Dr. Gore notes, if a woman wants to be seen in-person at a Wilmington Health office, she will be.

6-8 Weeks - First Ultrasound

12-14 Weeks - Fetal Heart Rate Detection

18 Weeks - Anatomy Ultrasound

28 Weeks - Screenings for Diabetes & Anemia

36 Weeks & Beyond - Weekly Office Visits

For Virtual Visits, they can be scheduled for...

20-27 Weeks 

30-34 Weeks  

The following are the visitor protocols for the NHRMC Betty H. Cameron Women’s & Children’s Hospital:

-One support person per laboring woman admitted to Labor and Delivery.  This person is allowed to be with them throughout the laboring, delivering and postpartum care. 

-Screening at the hospital involves the following: Questions about COVID-19 symptoms (Have you had a recent cough, fever or general malaise in the last two weeks?) PLUS temperature screening.

-The temperature screening at the hospital also includes all patients and staff (doctors, nurses, other hospital personnel).


Click here for NHRMC's policy on visitors.