What it’s like having a baby during the pandemic

mom and baby

“I wasn’t terribly worried about COVID-19 until Governor Walz issued the stay-at-home order at the end of March,” said Sarah Cowell from Arlington, Minn., who was nearly 8 months pregnant with her fourth child at the time. “I quickly became concerned and had a long list of questions for my provider.”

Sarah has delivered all four of her children at Ridgeview Medical Center in Waconia and all with a provider from Western OB/GYN, A Division of Ridgeview Clinics. Her last two children were delivered by Rebecca Baudoin, MD.

Having a baby during the pandemic

“Dr. Baudoin was amazing. During one particular prenatal visit, we just sat together and had a long conversation about COVID. Although there is still so much unknown, Dr. Baudoin was very knowledgeable about new findings about the disease and how it would affect my labor and delivery, and safety of me and my baby.”

I learned that:

1. Mother-to-child transmission of COVID-19 during pregnancy is unlikely.

2. Pregnant women who do become ill with COVID-19 may get sicker than non-pregnant individuals because of changes related to pregnancy and should follow closely with their health care team.*

3. If a pregnant woman is ill with COVID-19 at the time of delivery, Ridgeview has a process in place to still take care of mother and baby AND separation of a new mother and baby is never forced, but a shared decision that the mother makes after an informed discussion with the health care team.

“We talked about all of it and I left that appointment feeling at ease—that everything would be ok.

It was a bit different planning and having my baby during COVID. I had to be screened (answer a few questions) prior to entering the clinic for a prenatal visit and everyone stayed 6 feet apart when checking in. Wait times were minimal, if any, and masks were required by all staff and patients.

I had to self-quarantine 14 days prior to my scheduled C-section and I also received a COVID-19 test prior to surgery, which came back negative.

What didn’t change during my experience was the amazing care I received at Ridgeview. I appreciated all of these extra precautions and felt completely safe and comfortable the entire time.

Dr. Baudoin had assured me that having Evie during the pandemic would be every bit as special as my other birthing experiences—and she was right. The compassion and kindness shown by my entire care team was amazing and I am grateful for everything that was done for me and Evie. We were treated like royalty,” Sarah said.

“When Dr. Baudoin delivered Evie, she squealed with delight. It was evident she was just as excited to meet her as we were.”

*Modified from previous version to reflect the change in CDC designation of pregnant women as a high risk group.