Updated December 4, 2020
Your idea of giving birth most likely did not include how to plan for having a baby during a pandemic. While you can’t change your due date, you can prepare yourself by getting up to date information and asking your provider the safest plan for giving birth during this time of uncertainty. Check out the helpful tips below.
Stay up-to-date on the latest information about COVID-19 and pregnancy
March of Dimes is monitoring the spread of COVID-19 around the U.S. and the world. We are here to support you and your family with the information you need to know during this global pandemic. Our website provides you the latest information about COVID-19 and pregnancy, including a birth plan specific to delivering during the COVID-19 pandemic. A birth plan is a set of instructions you make about your baby's birth.
What you should know about giving birth during the COVID-19 pandemic
With all that’s happening, the last place you probably want to be at right now is in the hospital. You may be feeling extra worried about whether or not it’s safe for you to give birth in a hospital or traditional health care setting. Here are some important things you need to know:
- On March 30, 2020, the Society of Maternal Fetal Medicine (SMFM), American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists (ACOG), American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) and American College of Nurse Midwives (ACNM) issued a statement confirming that licensed and accredited hospitals and birth centers in the U.S. continue to be safe places to give birth.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has guidelines for health care facilities that provide care to pregnant patients with confirmed COVID-19 or pregnant people who may have COVID-19 (also called persons under investigation or PUI). These guidelines include steps to take to ensure that newborns are protected from COVID-19.
- Health care teams are working hard to make labor and delivery as safe as possible for moms and babies. If you are thinking of making changes to your birth plan, like delivering your baby at a different hospital or birth center, or are considering a home birth, discuss this with your provider.
- Before making a decision, get advice from your health care team and make sure it is based on facts and science, not on feelings or fear. Health care providers are encouraging pregnant patients to stay with the health care professional that has been providing their care and talk with them about any concerns regarding labor support and safe birth care.
Create a birth plan
Use our updated COVID-19 birth plan template to tell your provider how you feel about things like:
- Who you want with you during labor
- What you want to do during labor
- If you want medications to help with labor pain
- If there are special religious or cultural practices you want to have happen once your baby is born
Hospital policies will continue to change as we learn more about COVID-19. This means your birthing experience will depend on what policies your hospital, clinic, or birth center has put into place. We recommend that you call where you have planned to give birth close to your due date and ask questions.
Use the March of Dimes birth plan to ask about what resources are available to support your emotional and physical needs, and what staff is doing to protect patients from COVID-19 during labor and delivery. When the day comes to deliver your baby, ask about any rules or policies you need to know, like if you can have a support person in the delivery room or if you’ll be able to move around during early and active labor.
We are in this together. For 80 years, March of Dimes has helped millions of babies survive and thrive. We are here to support you before, during and after your delivery.