SEATTLE — The coronavirus outbreak is changing what normal looks like every day.
This week, a USA Today article cited CDC guidelines that recommends pregnant women giving birth alone and if they’re showing symptoms to be temporarily separated from their newborn.
“When I read that article, I actually started to cry,” said Brittany Cook, who lives in Sammamish and is eight months pregnant with her second child.
"To think of having to that yourself is horribly emotional,” she said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations are just that – recommendations, but at least two hospitals in New York City where coronavirus is spreading fast have enacted the policy of only allowing the woman giving birth and hospital personnel in the delivery room.
The World Health Organization though doesn’t recommend newborns be separated from their mother who has coronavirus. In fact, they recommend the opposite.
Dr. Kristina Adams Waldorf from UW Medicine has shifted the focus of her lab to see if there’s any connection between coronavirus and its effect on a newborn.
“What happens to the growth of their baby, and what happens to the health of their newborn?” she said, “Does it change pregnancy complications, such as preterm birth and stillbirth?”
To help minimize risk, Cook’s hospital is allowing her husband, Jason, to be in the delivery room with her, but that’s it.
“It is sad that I don’t get to have my mother with me to help me. Or that my family gets to share that with me,” she said.
Cook said she feels fortunate to be near the end of her pregnancy while this outbreak is going on
“I [get] extreme morning sickness. At the beginning of my pregnancy I would go in for IV fluids two or three times a week,” she said.
“There's a lot of new pregnant moms out there who use the ER as their safe spot in the beginning, so that’s scary to put yourself out there," Cook said.