As your physicians, we are dedicated to sharing the most up-to-date information on Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) and committed to providing you with tools and measures to ensure your safety, while helping minimize spread of COVID-19 in our community.
Our physicians and staff closely follow guidance from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) as well as The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). We are taking every precaution necessary to eliminate exposure to COVID-19 during your office visit. Some examples include:
- Travel restrictions – staff is following international and domestic travel guidelines as recommended by CDC here.
- Clinic-wide review of COVID-19 prevention and protection measures daily, and communication of updates as new information becomes available.
- Implementation of a special system to handle all patients calling in with symptoms suspect of COVID-109.
Below, please find additional information and recommendations on protection and prevention measures for you, your family and the greater community. If you are concerned you have symptoms of COVID-19, please call the clinic at (601) 936-9190 or your primary care doctor for instructions on proper care and treatment. DO NOT schedule an appointment or visit the clinic before you’ve spoken with your physician. This is essential in reducing the spread of the virus.
How does COVID-19 affect pregnant women?
Researchers are still learning how COVID-19 affects pregnant women. Current reports suggest that pregnant women have a higher risk for more severe illness from COVID-19 than nonpregnant women. Reports note that:
- Pregnant women who have COVID-19 and show symptoms are more likely than nonpregnant women with COVID-19 and symptoms to need care in an intensive care unit (ICU), to need a ventilator (for breathing support), or to die from the illness. Still, the overall risk of severe illness and death for pregnant women is low.
- Pregnant women with some health conditions, such as obesity and gestational diabetes, may have an even higher risk of severe illness, similar to nonpregnant women with these conditions.
- Pregnant women who are Black or Hispanic have a higher rate of illness and death from COVID-19 than other pregnant women, but not because of biology. Black and Hispanic women are more likely to face social, health, and economic inequities that put them at greater risk of illness. To learn more about these inequities, see this page from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Ways for pregnant patients to stay healthy
You can be assured that we are doing everything we can to optimize your safety while at the clinic. While you are pregnant, immunizations, checkups and tests are given for the duration of gestation. It’s very important to continue to see your ob-gyn for these appointments. In addition to following COVID-19 guidelines, this is the best way to ensure your pregnancy is as healthy as possible.
Should pregnant and breastfeeding women get the COVID-19 vaccination?
According to ACOG, first, it’s important to understand how COVID-19 vaccines have been tested. The vaccines go through several phases of tests with volunteers. So far, the tests have not included pregnant women. Second, it’s helpful to know how the vaccines were made. The COVID-19 vaccines do not contain live virus. Based on what is known about how these vaccines are made, experts believe they are likely to be safe in pregnancy. But since no testing has been done with women who are pregnant, researchers do not know if there are any risks.
If you are pregnant and want to know more about the vaccines, talk with your ob-gyn or other health care professional. You can discuss your risk of getting COVID-19 and your risk of severe illness if you get sick. A vaccine may protect you from severe illness, which could help both you and your fetus.
At this time, if you are breastfeeding, ACOG recommends that breastfeeding women get a COVID-19 vaccine. There is no need to stop breastfeeding if you want to get a vaccine.
What if I am trying to conceive?
If you are planning or trying to get pregnant, you can get a COVID-19 vaccine. You also do not need to delay getting pregnant after you get a vaccine.
Some COVID-19 vaccines will require two doses. If you find out you are pregnant after you have the first dose, you should still get the second dose.
What should I do if I feel sick?
If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms, such as cough or difficulty breathing, call the clinic or your primary care provider to discuss next steps for treatment. Additional guidelines can be found on CDC’s webpage regarding steps to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 if you are sick.
How do I prepare and protect my family for and from COVID-19?
CDC recommends how to protect your family, prevent the spread of COVID-19 and seek treatment here. We’ve also listed important points from CDC’s instructions below:
- Know where to find local information on COVID-19 and local trends of COVID-19 cases. Jackson Healthcare for Women welcomes your questions and additionally recommends viewing the Mississippi Department of Health’s website for the latest information on COVID-19 in Mississippi. Mississippi Department of Health also has a COVID-19 hotline, which can be reached from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Monday-Friday at 877-978-6453.
- Know the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and what to do if symptomatic:
- Stay home when you are sick
- Call your health care provider’s office in advance of a visit
- Limit movement in the community
- Limit visitors
- Know what additional measures those at higher risk and who are vulnerable should take.
- Implement steps to prevent illness (e.g., stay home when sick, handwashing, respiratory etiquette, clean frequently touched surfaces daily).
- Create a household plan of action in case of illness in the household or disruption of daily activities due to COVID-19 in the community.
- Consider 2-week supplies of prescription and over the counter medications, food and other essentials. Know how to get food delivered if possible.
- Establish ways to communicate with others (e.g., family, friends, co-workers).
- Establish plans to telework, what to do about childcare needs, how to adapt to cancellation of events.
- Know about emergency operations plans for schools/workplaces of household members.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
Jackson Healthcare for Women adapted information for this article from the following resources and recommends they be referred to for additional information: