Pregnant in Edmonton amid COVID-19? Here’s what you need to know

Health-care officials in Edmonton have opened a new clinic meant for pregnant women who have or may have been exposed to COVID-19.

The clinic at the Lois Hole Hospital for Women opened on March 30.

“In most maternity clinics, we [were] just not able to safely see these patients, so we were having to say to patients who had respiratory symptoms, ‘I’m really sorry, we can’t see you, go home,’” said Dr. Jane Baker, who is helping lead treatment at the new clinic.

The referral-based clinic is separate from the rest of the hospital, and is for prenatal and postnatal women at 24 gestational weeks or greater who require a prenatal visit while in self-isolation who are: asymptomatic self-isolating, symptomatic COVID-19 suspect, or COVID-19 positive.

Once patients are finished their self-isolation period, they can return to their original health-care provider.

Baker said it’s important that women still be able to get obstetrical care in the later stages of pregnancy.

“Later on in the pregnancy, for many reasons, it is a good idea to get at least a check-in with your provider every two weeks. As a community of prenatal providers, we are trying to do as much as we can to do some of that work over the phone. But there are some things we actually need to physically see you for in person,” said Baker.

Doctors at the clinic will be in full personal protective equipment, including a gown, gloves, mask and goggles or face shield.

Changes to rules during childbirth

Alberta Health Services and Covenant Health have also made changes to rules for patients giving birth in hospital.

Women will now be limited to one family member or support person with them in the delivery room. After delivery, only one healthy adult visitor can come at a time, and no children will be allowed to visit.

Baker said the new rules are meant as an abundance of caution.

“At this point, we do not have any evidence that COVID-19 infection during pregnancy is necessarily any worse than a COVID-19 infection when you’re not pregnant,” she said.

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The opinions expressed in this post are those of the authors. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of the FASD Prevention Conversation Project, its stakeholders or funders.

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