Anxiety looms in pregnant women as uncertainty surrounds COVID-19 and its effect on newborns

Pregnant women face COVID-19-related anxiety
Posted at 9:43 PM, May 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-26 22:44:01-04

OMAHA, Neb. — Being pregnant during the pandemic comes with its uncertainties as experts can't pinpoint exactly how the virus affects pregnant women and children, although pregnant women are considered to belong in the "high risk" category.

Nicole Wilson gave birth just a few weeks ago. Her biggest fear was getting the virus and not seeing her baby after she was readmitted due to complications and was put in isolation.

"That was the worst experience, I cried all night long because I'm a new mom without my baby," Wilson said.

Now she's reunited with her family, but the anxiety of having a baby during a pandemic still looms for mothers everywhere.

"The fear of not being able to hold my child. What if it gets to that last two weeks and I'm positive and I give birth and they tell me you're unable to hold your kid for that first moment," expecting mother Merrissa Noris said.

Since COVID-19 is still relatively new, data is limited on how the virus affects pregnant women and newborns. Recommendations change as more information becomes available.

"The CDC has recommended that babies that are born to mothers with Coronavirus, that the mother separates from the child. I think that's been one of the greatest stresses that mothers I see are going through," Children's Hospital pediatrician Dr. Erin Willis Loucks said.

The World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and other medical experts are offering up tips to help ease some of the anxieties mothers have.

"The recommendation that we've been giving mothers and families who will be around a newborn is trying to quarantine themselves for at least a couple weeks or more before the baby arrives," Dr Willis Loucks said.

Along with staying safe and being in quarantine, experts recommend strong communication between your doctor and your loved ones.

"If you are anxious or feel depressed at all...make sure you are communicating with your doctor or at least your spouse or a support person in your life because your husband might be going through it too but it just feels better to talk about it," Wilson said.

More information from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

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