What To Do If Coronavirus Is Messing Up Your Pregnancy Plans
As a married 27-year-old (wait, f*ck. I’m 28), I knew the day would come when I’d eventually want to have children. I’m not an “oh my God, let me hold your baby” kind of gal, but deep down, I low-key felt like I was meant to have kids. If my child-bearing hips aren’t enough to prove that, it’s my sheer love of costumes and drama that would make me perfect for a life of viral family Halloween looks and PTA-induced mom fights.
While I thanked every deity out there that I avoided teen pregnancy and walked down the aisle bump-free, for the past say, six months, I’ve found myself Googling funny pregnancy announcements and searching to see if there’s a gender reveal theme that doesn’t make me feel like a boner. The point is, whether I like it or not, my ovaries are starting to be like “bitch, let’s get that IUD out.” The problem? The entire world is one huge dumpster fire thanks to coronavirus, and I’m starting to feel like my entire life timeline is getting f*cked up. From graduations, proms, weddings, showers, bachelorette parties, and honeymoons, COVID-19 is snatching up memories left and right. While parents and events were one thing, it never occurred to me that this pandemic might change the entire trajectory of my life (and my vagina).

Before getting pregnant, I’ve had a list of things I wanted to accomplish. Thanks to my trusty Mirena securely nestled in my cervix, I’ve had the luxury to accomplish most of the items. I’ve gotten married, I’ve purchased a house, I’ve perfected my hula hooping skills—all “musts” on my list. The only few left? Write a book and travel to France. I know, I’m a blonde white girl from a medium-income household who hasn’t been to Paris? Trust me, I too, and shook. But with my Eurotrip canceled and no set time to reschedule on the horizon (plus a Google Doc titled “Book” that’s been untouched for 2.5 years), it’s making me wonder: Is it even worth waiting to get pregnant?
Now, TBH, I don’t even know if I’m there *yet* (chill out, mom). But let’s just say I’m “there adjacent.” On one hand, I’m like “what the f*ck else am I going to do? Might as well have a whole bunch of sex and pop a newborn out in what specialists predict will be another baby boom in nine months.” On the other hand, is it sensible, and what will I be giving up (and potentially gaining) by choosing to forego my initial pregnancy plan and try now, when the world is uncertain but hopeful? Since I can’t be the only confused millennial out there, I’m breaking down my findings to hopefully help other potential and future parents get a better idea of what the actual f*ck they should do.

If You’re Considering Getting Pregnant

The bad news for women or couples considering getting pregnant during corona? There’s a chance you’ll miss out on some of the classic moments many moms-to-be look forward to. With some states restricting events all the way to the end of the year, things are still unclear as to when group gatherings will be deemed 100% safe. In addition to things like gender reveal parties and baby showers potentially having to be omitted (at least traditional ones as opposed to virtual parties), offices and hospitals are limiting the number of people who can enter, which means your loved ones might miss out on things like doctors appointments, sonograms, and potentially even the birth. As someone who literally THRIVES on attention, that’s a real bummer to me.
Still, specialists are always working on new and improved systems, and Dr. Christian Pettker, chief of obstetrics at Yale New Haven Hospital in Connecticut told TODAY, “These new practices don’t have to ‘negatively’ affect your care, and some developments are even exciting. Many patients are being prescribed at-home blood pressure monitors, which reduce the need for in-person visits.” Plus, if you’re the type of person who processes good or bad news easier alone, you’ll get to have your space from nosey MILs without an awkward convo. The downside? Complications might not be detected as quickly thanks to the lack of in-person visits, which is why it’s up to patients to be completely transparent in virtual appointments, no matter how weird it might feel.
So, should you try to get pregnant now or wait? Dr. Stephanie Gaw, an associate professor of obstetrics at the University of California, San Francisco, told TODAY,  “My advice would be: If you had the luxury of waiting a couple of months until things die down a little bit, (you) might want to do that. But we can’t say definitively that there’s an actual danger to the pregnancy itself.”

If You *Are* Pregnant/Trying To Get Pregnant

First of all: This is exciting, and don’t let anyone or anything make you think differently. While there seems to be endless bad news circling around The Virus That Must Not Be Named, it’s not all doom and gloom for future baby mamas. According to Dr. Kendra Segura from Bravo’s Married To Medicine: Los Angeles, the outbreak of COVID-19 doesn’t mean you need to avoid the hospital and give birth in your tub (but you can, if that’s your style). The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ (ACOG) position on home vs. hospital births still sways in the direction of hospital births being generally safer, especially for the baby, even during the pandemic.

Plus, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine, “COVID-19 seems to have less serious health consequences for children than for adults,” and babies aren’t necessarily at a higher risk to contract it. Extra bonus? Dr. Kendra tells Betches that “The virus that causes Covid-19 (SARS-CoV2) has not been found in breast milk or amniotic fluid.  This means that mothers infected with Covid-19 are unlikely to pass the virus onto their baby, while the baby is still in the womb, and that isolated COVID-positive mothers may still be able to nourish their newborns by methods such as pumping.” In addition to COVID-positive moms potentially being able to breastfeed via pump, pregnant women can obtain tests to determine whether or not they’re positive just like everyone else—no special tests are needed.

While it’s a lot to process, there’s no right or wrong answer. As with any decision, you have to weigh the pros and cons. For some, having the hope and happiness of a baby is just what the metaphorical doctor ordered in the ~time of darkness.~ For me, however, I’m still holding out hope to get that France stamp on my passport, then hopefully I can start my family. Whether that means it’ll be a few months or a few years, only time will tell. It the meantime, I’ll be spending my time eating a sh*t-ton of sushi, drinking buckets of booze, and trying to think of a baby name more horrifying than X Æ A-12 Musk.

Images: Anna Pritchard / Unsplash; Giphy (2)

What Pregnant Women Need To Know About Coronavirus

There’s no way around it: the coronavirus pandemic is sweeping the globe and it’s scary. And when people get scared, they tend to panic and seek answers on the cesspool that is their aunt’s Facebook page wherever they can. Pregnant women may be feeling especially vulnerable right now. So in an effort to dispel some of the misinformation out there, I consulted Dr. Daniel Roshan, MD, an OB/GYN practicing at Rosh Maternal & Fetal Medicine, to break down how the virus may impact pregnant women.

Are Pregnant Women More At Risk Of Contracting Coronavirus? 

The short answer is it doesn’t seem so. According to Dr. Roshan, pregnant women have so far not been found to be more susceptible to the coronavirus than the general population. That being said, “in general pregnant women are at higher risk to get infections,” so it’s important to take precautions, even if there’s no heightened risk of contracting coronavirus per se. There’s also nothing indicating that a pregnant woman who has contracted the virus will necessarily pass it on to her fetus, as Dr. Roshan notes that “coronavirus hasn’t been shown to cross the placenta and so far no congenital cases reported.” In other words, there haven’t been any cases reported at birth. Thank goodness for small miracles, human and otherwise!

OK, But Could There Be Other Risks To The Fetus If A Pregnant Woman Has Coronavirus?

So while a fetus likely can’t contract coronavirus from an infected mother, Dr. Roshan did note some potential risks associated with acute respiratory distress syndrome, otherwise known as ARDS, which occurs when fluid builds up in the air sacs of the lungs. Because a severe case of coronavirus can lead to respiratory complications, Dr. Roshan mentioned that “f a pregnant patient gets really sick with coronavirus and develops ARDS, the fetus will be at risk of premature labor and delivery.” These may not be the only complications, however, so check with your doctor to make sure they don’t have any other concerns.

I’m Pregnant And Think I May Have Coronavirus. What Should I Do?

While the best course of action is to take all relevant precautions to avoid infection, it’s inevitable that some of us are going to get infected. If you think you’re one of the unlucky ones, don’t panic just yet. Dr. Roshan recommends following the current guideline of self-isolation and monitoring for symptoms. If your symptoms are mild and don’t include fever and shortness of breath, you may be able to stay home and recover from there. However, if you’re experiencing high fever and shortness of breath, you should go to the hospital to be more carefully monitored.

 What Precautions Should Pregnant Women Take Right Now?

There are a number of precautions pregnant women can take to avoid coronavirus, and the good news is they are the precautions that all of us should be taking. Dr. Roshan recommends the following:

And, of course, you should consult your doctor as needed, especially if you are experiencing symptoms.

Is There Anything Else Pregnant Women Should Know?


Other than taking the above precautions, Dr. Roshan’s main piece of advice is to take this pandemic seriously and not wait until it’s too late: “any in the US took it lightly until they heard someone they know or been in contact with has it and then they panic.” Instead of being reactive, we can all do our part to stop the spread by taking the relevant precautions now while we wait for a resolution and, hopefully, an eventual vaccine. At the risk of sounding like an extra in High School Musical, we’re all in this together.

So there you have it. While there’s no denying that this pandemic is showing no signs of slowing down yet, pregnant women can take comfort in the fact that they’re no more at risk than the rest of us. They have enough to worry about, after all.

Images: Fallon Michael / Unsplash