Area hospitals taking precautions for pregnant women

Area hospitals taking precautions for pregnant women

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - This is the first week, the three Ledet kids go to class, in their Mandeville home.

“It’s been pretty weird,” Rachel Ledet said. “As you can imagine as most people are experiencing. Really for us we are trying to maintain a schedule.”

Ledet, who is expecting, is doing whatever she can to keep them and her unborn child safe. But she worries about the uncertainty of COVID-19.

"The fear of being in a hospital at this time is a little scary,” Ledet said. “I guess in my head I'm trying to watch what the next to four to six weeks is like."

Ledet says since her husband works in the medical field she doesn’t worry too much about getting exposed to the virus. But the closer she gets to her August due date, the more questions she has for her OB/GYN.

“Once we get to mid to late July If there is still a concern that will be something I’m going to have to think about,” Ledet said. “With being in a hospital environment, being around all healthcare professionals, and just more people and the whole process of labor and deliver and what you have to experience being in a hospital for three days.”

She plans to give birth at St. Tammany Health System, where a spokesperson tells FOX 8, they’re taking precautions, such as, limiting visitors to one significant other. That person will be “asked to stay for the duration of the hospital visit and not plan to come and go.”

These are some measures, Dr. Joseph Biggio, M.D., with Ochsner Health, says hospitals are taking across the state.

“Everything that is happening is really being done to try to keep our patients and their families safe and still deliver them the highest quality of care,” Dr. Biggio said.

He says he’s concerned about pregnant women because when expecting mothers get a respiratory virus, they are a higher risk for infection.

“When there was the H1N1 from a few years ago, we saw that pregnant women were much more likely to acquire the infection and much more likely to have severe respiratory symptoms and require being on a respirator compared to non-pregnant women," Dr. Biggio sai

But there is positive data from China and Italy.

"It does not seem that pregnant women are at an increased risk of requiring the infection or for developing severe forms of the infection any greater than anybody else who is not pregnant,” Dr. Biggio said. “But still we worry because of other things we know of what's happened in the past with pregnant women."

His advice to expecting women is to make precautions to minimize exposure to the virus but also maintain some normalcy.

“I think frame of minds really can make a difference in your day,” Ledet said. “Just take it one day at a time. That’s really all that we can do.” At Tulane Health, officials say, if a new mother tests positive for COVID-19, before she holds her newborn, she must take precautions such as wearing a mask and washing her hands.

LCMC health says they are “delaying some routine visits and are hoping to implement telehealth as part of the care of low risk patients.”

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