INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – As more of society is now maskless and vaccination rates rise, COVID variants are on the rise. Hospitals, OBGYN offices and medical facilities still have virus restrictions, which means having a baby is now very different from what it was before the pandemic.
Olivia Lindley lives in Indianapolis. She and her husband, Stephen, just had their baby, Lucy, in May. Now Olivia is navigating the new world of being a new mom.
“I think there are a lot of things moms will still have to think about,” Olivia said.
Topping the list are the risks from COVID-19 that still exist.
“From pregnancy to childbirth and afterwards, I think there are so many different aspects of life that you have to think about now,” Olivia said.
Doctors like Kelly Robrock, MD with Axia Women’s Health OB / GYN of Indiana helping women get through tough times.
“There was a lot of fear around the pregnancy,” Dr Robrock said.
She said that even as society opens up, women should expect restrictions and changes in medical facilities. Masks are mandatory and most hospital visits are virtual.
“We have definitely adapted to the pandemic and so a lot has gone virtual. So there are virtual tours of hospitals, ”said Dr Robrock.
When it comes to delivery and appointments, visitors are limited and restrictions depend on specific medical facilities, which include different restrictions for Health UI, Ascension Saint-Vincent and Eskenazi Health.
“We allow patients to bring a support person to ultrasound appointments, which we couldn’t do in the past. And it really depends on the safety of our suppliers and the safety of our patients, ”said Dr Robrock. “Thus, telehealth has become an important part of our care for our patients. In addition to telehealth, we have a new application available for our pregnant patients called baby scripts. “
And with regard to the recommended safety measures for pregnant patients, doctors and American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists encourage women to get vaccinated.
“Our pregnant patients are more likely to end up with serious illness, respiratory illness. More likely to need respiratory assistance. We have seen a link between premature births and women who contracted COVID during their pregnancy, ”said Dr Robrock.
She said the risk of contracting COVID-19 far outweighs any risk from a vaccine. What’s more, studies show that antibodies can help babies before birth.
“No risk to babies, absolutely not. Our short-term data studies are wonderful when it comes to safety for our pregnant and breastfeeding mothers. Recent studies have shown that babies actually make antibodies in mothers who received the COVID vaccine during their third trimester, which is great. Baby comes out with an extra layer of protection, ”said Dr Robrock.
Still, the decision is in the hands of pregnant women and can be very difficult.
“The vaccine has been beneficial for me and for Lucy. But it was the most difficult decision we had to make, ”said Olivia.
In addition to difficult choices, pregnant women must expect more nerve-racking times due to COVID.
“When we went to the hospital for delivery, even though I was fully vaccinated, I still had to be tested for COVID,” Olivia said. “So that kind of put this little piece of what if?” Deep in my head. Oh my God, what if I have COVID and deliver this baby and she has COVID? “
Fortunately Olivia and Lucy did not have the virus.
In addition to protecting babies, doctors said women should also think about themselves.
“Really identify the key people you think you can call. And feel comfortable that they are coming to you or comfortable sharing what you are feeling emotionally, ”said Dr Robrock. “A good grassroots support group to help fight the isolation of COVID-19 and postpartum depression and anxiety. “
It’s a worry that still exists for new moms, even as the world is getting a little safer.
“So many different elements of the pandemic besides being a mother in general. Yeah, it’s tough, it’s really tough, ”Olivia said.
This is the second story in a series that we call “INside Story”. The rest of Hanna’s stories about the impact COVID-19 has had on pregnant women, new moms and their babies, even as the world begins to reopen, will air each morning this week on News 8.