Lehigh County Health & Medicine Fall/Winter 2020 - 12

FEATURE

COVID-19

and pregnancy
what we know so far

By PATRICIA MARAN, M.D., MA, FACOG, Department of Obstetrics
and Gynecology, Lehigh Valley Hospital, and BRITTNEY GAUDET, MPH

A

s obstetricians we are in the family
business. We worry if our patients
can get pregnant; once pregnant,
we work to educate them about
how they can stay safe and make choices that will
benefit the upcoming addition to their families.
We are translators of the complex medical and
physiologic wonders that allow for a child to grow
inside a woman's body. We wait up through long
nights, patiently watching and guiding moms
and babies through the birth process. We are
there when all too often, expectations go out the
window and a routine vaginal delivery becomes
an emergent cesarean - when a baby decides to
show us a hand, a foot, a cord, or starts playing
jump rope inside. At the drop of a hat, we have
to change tactics. We abandon anticipated
plans, and adapt to what the woman and baby
present to us.
As health care workers, parents, children, and
obstetricians, I daresay, nothing has made any
of us worry, change plans, or spend more time
focusing on the safety of our families, than this
most recent COVID-19 pandemic.
These are surreal times. We all have adapted to
this new normal. But for the pregnant woman,
the anxiety associated with being pregnant,
or those anticipating due dates during the
COVID-19 pandemic cannot be underestimated.
All the worries about the future, about one's
health, about being a good enough parent, have
escalated through these months of quarantine.
Busy kitchen tables, frustrated outbursts by
children and parents alike, relative isolation of

12 Lehigh County Health & Medicine | FALL / WINTER 2020



Lehigh County Health & Medicine Fall/Winter 2020

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https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/LehighCountyHealth_Medicine/LCHMFall_Winter20
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/LehighCountyHealth_Medicine/LehighCountyHealthMedicineSummer2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/LehighCountyHealth_Medicine/LCHM_Spring20
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/LehighCountyHealth_Medicine/LCHM_Winter19
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/LehighCountyHealth_Medicine/LCHM_Fall19
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/LehighCountyHealth_Medicine/LCHM_Summer19
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/LehighCountyHealth_Medicine/LCHM_Spring19
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/LehighCountyHealth_Medicine/LCHM_Winter18
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/LehighCountyHealth_Medicine/LCHM_Fall18
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/LehighCountyHealth_Medicine/LCHMSummer18
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/LehighCountyHealth_Medicine/LCHMSpring18
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/LehighCountyHealth_Medicine/LCHMWinter2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/LehighCountyHealth_Medicine/LCHMWinter18
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/LehighCountyHealth_Medicine/Fall2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/LehighCountyHealth_Medicine/LCHMSummer2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/LehighCountyHealth_Medicine/LCHMSpring2017
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com