COVID-19 in Pregnancy

COVID-19 UPDATE 2/11/2021:

 

Current COVID safety measures for appointments

  • DO NOT attend the rooms if you are unwell or have been in contact with a suspected or known case of COVID-19.  Phone the rooms on 02 9987 0966 for further instructions.
  • You may bring one support person, provided the support person is double-vaccinated. A valid vaccination certificate must be shown to enter the premises.
  • Children under 16 years are not permitted in rooms at this stage.
  • Face masks are still compulsory in rooms. (Please wear your own – we are unable to supply masks).
  • You will be asked to check in using the Service NSW app. Download the app ahead of your first appointment https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/campaign/service-nsw-mobile-app

 

Coronavirus COVID-19 in preganancy

COVID vaccinations and pregnancy/breast-feeding

As per the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG):

  • Pregnant women are a priority group for COVID-19 vaccination, and should be routinely offered Pfizer mRNA vaccine (Cominarty) or Spikevax (Moderna) at any stage of pregnancy.
  • Women who are trying to become pregnant can receive either Pfizer, Moderna or AstraZeneca vaccines and do not need to delay vaccination or avoid becoming pregnant after vaccination.
  • Vaccination is recommended for breastfeeding women. You do not need to stop breastfeeding before or after vaccination. Either Pfizer, Moderna or AstraZeneca vaccine is considered safe. The mRNA in Pfizer or Moderna is rapidly broken down in the body and does not appear to pass into breastmilk. The viral vector in AstraZeneca cannot cause infection.

NSW Health has recently announced that booster doses of Pfizer vaccine are now being offered to people over 18 years of age who received the second dose of their COVID vaccine more than 6 months ago: Booster vaccination – frequently asked questions – Vaccination (nsw.gov.au)

What does RANZCOG say about COVID-19 in pregnancy?

  • Pregnant women with COVID-19 have a higher risk of severe illness compared to non-pregnant women with COVID-19 of the same age. This includes an increased risk of:
    –    hospitalisation
    –    admission to an intensive care unit
    –    invasive ventilation.
  • COVID-19 during pregnancy also increases the risk of complications for the baby including a higher risk of stillbirth and of being born prematurely.

What can I do to protect myself?

Vaccination is the best option to protect yourself against COVID-19.

Also continue to take sensible precautions:

  • Follow the current NSW rules and regulations for gatherings
  • Wash your hands regularly with soap & water or hand sanitiser
  • Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze.  Use a tissue and put it in the bin immediately.  If you don’t have a tissue, cough into the crook of your elbow.  (This is called the vampire sneeze because it looks like a vampire pulling his cape across his face).
  • Stay away from anyone who is unwell, in particular anyone who has symptoms of a respiratory infection (fever, cough, fatigue, shortness of breath, congested nose, sore throat, headaches, muscle aches, chills).
  • Practice social distancing:
    • keep a distance of 1.5 metres from other people where possible, for example when out and about in public places
    • avoid shaking hands, hugging, or kissing other people
  • Masks are compulsory in most public indoor settings

What do I do if I think I’ve caught the virus?

If you have potentially been in contact with someone who might be infected, and you become unwell, isolate yourself immediately and seek medical advice.

Phone ahead to your GP clinic or nearest Emergency Department.  Do not simply turn up.  Advise the receptionist that you may have COVID-19.  The practice will instruct you on what to do next, according to local health service plans and government advice.

If you have serious symptoms, for example if it is hard to breathe, call 000 for an ambulance.  Advise the operator that you may have been exposed to the coronavirus.

What if I’ve been exposed and I go into labour?

Both North Shore Private Hospital and The Mater Hospital are prepared for patients with COVID-19.  Obstetric patients will still be looked after in the maternity unit of their booked hospital.  It is ESSENTIAL to phone the Delivery Suite of your booked hospital before you attend.  This will allow the maternity staff to prepare for your arrival and meet you with appropriate infection-control measures in place.

Be aware that both hospitals have visitor restrictions for the delivery suite, maternity wards and nursery.  While we appreciate this will be disappointing for some, please understand that it is designed to protect pregnant women, their babies and hospital staff.  The restrictions change regularly – phone the Bookings office of your birth hospital for the latest updates.

Where can I get updates and further information?

As always, this information is intended for general educational purposes only. It is not medical advice. Please discuss any medical issues with your own doctor. Read our full medical disclaimer here.