(COLUMBUS, Ohio) – There are a lot of health concerns that come with pregnancy, and the COVID-19 pandemic has created additional fears about dangers to both mom and baby. A new national survey by The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center confirms these fears, finding that nearly 80% of respondents would be concerned about themselves or an expectant mother in their life in the midst of the current COVID-19 outbreak, with almost half expressing fear of going to a scheduled prenatal appointment.
Among the more than 2,000 respondents, 51% would be concerned about sending their child to daycare or a babysitter and over 45% would be concerned about visiting public places while pregnant and after their baby is born. Because parents today have an endless amount of information at their fingertips, messaging about what is safe and what they should and shouldn’t do is easily muddled.
“We always encourage pregnant women to trust websites that are reliable and that are vouched by medical professionals as being accurate and informative,” said Dr. Jonathan Schaffir, OB/GYN at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.
Dr. Schaffir says while concerns about COVID-19 are valid and precautions should be taken, it’s also important to manage these fears and ensure proper care. Doctor’s offices are taking extra steps for the safety of their patients, such as wearing masks, face shields and gloves and wiping down surfaces between patients.
“We have also taken a close look at limiting appointments and determining the minimum number of visits and tests that women need in pregnancy to ensure they are healthy and well cared for,” Dr. Schaffir said. “So it’s important for women to know that when we say that you need to come in to the office or the hospital, that really is the case.”
Many OB/GYNs are also offering telehealth appointments for visits that don’t require any testing or procedures, and this area of medicine is expected to stick around and even expand after the threat of COVID-19 subsides.