Expecting mothers fear for their health and infants amid COVID-19

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ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – As the coronavirus continues to spread, people have growing concerns about their health. Many expecting mothers fear not just for their own well-being, but also for their infants.

While some believe pregnant women have a higher chance of catching the virus due to their weakened immune systems, one Elmira doctor says everyone has the same chance of catching the virus.

“Pregnant moms are no more likely to get seriously ill than any other young healthy adult,” says Dr. Gray Nicholson, Gynecologist at Arnot Health.

With growing fears of the virus, some pregnant women look elsewhere than the hospital for places to give birth, including their own homes. But doctors advise delivering at a hospital as the best option.

“Babies born at home are more than twice as likely to have issues or complications at a home birth than at a hospital,” says Dr. James Scott, Chairman of Obstetrics & Gynecology at Guthrie Hospital.

One expecting mother says she is scared of catching the virus because she doesn’t want to spread it to her fetus.

“I’m super worried that it can pass to the baby,” says Morgan Kemp. “There’s not enough information. It’s too new for someone to say ‘no, you’re safe as a pregnant woman.'”

Kemp also fears that the virus would affect her baby’s lung development.

Angelica Vanness is another pregnant person concerned about her health after seeing the lack of caution people take in public. “It’s like you don’t know the people that you come across,” she says. “If I were to get it, what would happen because of the fact that I’m carrying?”

Scott maintains that data shows coronavirus an’t transfer from mother to fetus.

“The virus spreads from person to person,” says Scott. “The data on COVID-19 does not indicate that there is vertical transmission of the virus from mother to fetus.”

Due to the increase of COVID-19, many hospitals have changed their guest policy and are following New York’s procedures of only allowing one support person in the delivery room.

“My husband, he’s the only one that’s allowed there with me,” says Kemp. “My biggest fear is that they’re going to take that away from us, also.”

Vanness says that giving birth is a beautiful thing and a moment that should involve family and loved ones.

“I have that fear that if it’s still going on when I give birth, that I have to deal with it on my own,” says Vanness. “And that’s not something you really want to deal alone, you want someone there with you.”

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