Postpartum depression does not discriminate. You can develop it whether your pregnancy was easy or difficult. You can suffer from it if you are a first time mom or already have a child, married or unmarried, and it occurs in women of all ages, races, and education. Simply put, it can happen to any woman, even you. That’s why understanding postpartum depression and how to deal with it is valuable information for all expectant mothers.
Because we are still learning about COVID-19 and how it spreads, the risk to pregnant women, the fetus, and infants remains inconclusive. Research is ongoing, but here is what you should know now about COVID-19, pregnancy, and breastfeeding.
Due to COVID-19, we will be reaching out to you to reschedule any non-essential appointments (re: physicals, annuals, and other well visits) until further notice.
COVID-19 is causing things to change rapidly and our operations can vary because of this. We ask for your understanding and that you check our website for the latest on operational hours and services available.
You can also call ahead if you have questions.
We are proud of our staff who are working during this time, and pledge to you our highest service possible during this pandemic
In an effort to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission and provide a safer environment and promote social distancing which is recommended by the CDC, we are asking that patients limit the number of people accompanying them to an appointment. No visitors (including children) will be allowed to accompany each patient unless a specific patient needs extra support. We encouraged visitors to remain closely connected to their loved ones through virtual means, including Skype, FaceTime, WhatsApp, and/or phone.
Additionally, we are respectfully asking that children not accompany any adult patients, unless there is a medical necessity. We know this may cause scheduling challenges, particularly for families with younger siblings, but we can all play a role in reducing the spread of this virus. Thank you for understanding our need to do so and for helping us keep you and our greater community healthy.
We are also asking any patients with a cough, shortness of breath or fever not to come to our facility and call ahead of time. You will be directed to another facility for evaluation.
All patients are to wash their hands before and after their visit. Hand washing, social distancing, and self-isolation are still the best ways to prevent this virus from spreading more widely.
We are committed to providing the best care to you and will continue to give you the best guidance we can.
To continue with our efforts with social distancing in these difficult times, we are currently working on offering certain types of appointments, that don’t necessarily require a traditional physical exam, a telemedicine option.
Telemedicine is the use of technology that enables remote healthcare (telehealth). Basically it makes it possible for physicians to treat patients by using a computer or smartphone
This will allow you to see your physician without leaving your home.
Some of the benefits of telemedicine are:
No transportation time or costs – When you see your doctor on your mobile device or computer, you can save money on gas, parking, and transportation.
Eliminate child or elder care issues – If you have the responsibility for caring for children or older adults, finding someone to fill in can be a challenge, as can bringing them along. Telemedicine lets you see your doctor while managing your family responsibilities.
Dr. Berger (endocrinology) is currently using telemedicine for many of her appointments.
We anticipate that some appointments might be available using telemedicine, such as:
1. Genetic counseling with Lisa D’Augelli, our genetic counselor.
2. Post-Partum visits.
3. Post-Operative visits.
4. Consultations visits.
5. Pre-operative consultations.
6. Infertility consultations.
7. Follow-up appointments.
In light of the current health crisis, it appears that most insurance companies will cover your virtual visit. Medicare has also temporarily expanded its coverage of telehealth services to respond to the current Public Health Emergency.
If you might be interested in this type of service for an upcoming appointment, please email us your request at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can obtain more information here: Doxy.me
What is social distancing and why is it important?
The COVID-19 virus primarily spreads when one person breathes in droplets that are produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. In addition, any infected person, with or without symptoms, could spread the virus by touching a surface. The Coronavirus could remain on that surface and someone else could touch it and then touch their mouth, nose or eyes. That’s why it’s so important to try to avoid touching public surfaces or at least try to wipe them with a disinfectant.
Social distancing refers to actions taken to stop or slow down the spread of a contagious disease. For an individual, it refers to maintaining enough distance (6 feet or more) between yourself and another person to avoid getting infected or infecting someone else. School closures, directives to work from home, library closings, and canceling meetings and larger events help enforce social distancing at a community level.
Slowing down the rate and number of new Coronavirus infections is critical to not overwhelming hospitals, which could lead to large numbers of critically ill patients not receiving life-saving care. Highly realistic projections show that unless we begin extreme social distancing now — every day matters — our hospitals and other healthcare facilities will not be able to handle the likely influx of patients.
What should and shouldn’t I do during this time to avoid exposure to and spread of this Coronavirus? For example, what steps should I take if I need to go shopping for food and staples? What about eating at restaurants, ordering takeout, going to the gym or swimming in a public pool?
The answer to all of the above is that it is critical that everyone begin intensive social distancing immediately. As much as possible, limit contact with people outside your family.
If you need to get food, staples, medications or healthcare, try to stay at least six feet away from others, and wash your hands thoroughly after the trip, avoiding contact with your face and mouth throughout. Prepare your own food rather than going to a restaurant or even getting takeout. It’s best to avoid the gym; but if you do go, be sure to wipe down anything you are about to touch, and once more after you use the equipment. Again try to keep a distance of 6 feet or more from others. Since the virus won’t survive in properly treated pool water, swimming should be okay as long as you avoid close contact with other people.
Here are some other things to avoid: playdates, parties, sleepovers, having friends or family over for meals or visits, and going to coffee shops — essentially any nonessential activity that involves close contact with others.
What can I do when social distancing?
Try to look at this period of social distancing as an opportunity to get to things you’ve been meaning to do.
Though you shouldn’t go to the gym right now, that doesn’t mean you can’t exercise. Take long walks or run outside (do your best to maintain at least six feet between you and non-family members when you’re outside). Do some yoga or other indoor exercise routines when the weather isn’t cooperating.
Kids need exercise too, so try to get them outside every day for walks or a backyard family soccer game (remember, this isn’t the time to invite the neighborhood kids over to play). Avoid public playground structures, which aren’t cleaned regularly and can spread the virus.
Pull out board games that are gathering dust on your shelves. Have family movie nights. Catch up on books you’ve been meaning to read, or do a family read-a-loud every evening.
It’s important to stay connected even though we should not do so in person. Keep in touch virtually through phone calls, Skype, video and other social media. Enjoy a leisurely chat with an old friend you’ve been meaning to call.
If all else fails, go to bed early and get some extra sleep!
In order to decrease the risk to our elderly patients from possible COVID-19 (Coronavirus) exposure, we recommend that patient’s who are 65 years of age or older and have upcoming appointments for their regular annual gynecologic visits and non-urgent visits should call the office and reschedule for a future date.
People who are older and older people with chronic medical conditions, especially cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, lung disease are more likely to have severe disease or death from COVID-19. They should engage in strict social distancing without delay. This is also the case for people who are immuno-compromised because of a condition or treatment that weakens their immune response.
What is COVID-19?
Coronavirus disease 2019, or “COVID-19,” is an infection caused by a specific virus called SARS-CoV-2. It first appeared in late 2019 in the city of Wuhan, China. People with COVID-19 can have fever, cough, and trouble breathing. Problems with breathing happen when the infection affects the lungs and causes pneumonia.
Experts are studying this virus and will continue to learn more about it over time.
How is COVID-19 spread?
Experts think COVID-19 first spread to people from animals in China that had the virus. But it can also be spread from person to person, similar to the flu. This usually happens when a sick person coughs or sneezes near other people.
Most cases of COVID-19 are in China. But it has spread quickly, and there have been cases in many other countries, including the United States. Most of these happened when people got the infection and then traveled to another country. But in some cases, the virus then spreads to other people. So, there are now smaller outbreaks in several different countries.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
Symptoms usually start a few days after a person is infected with the virus. But in some people it can take even longer for symptoms to appear. Symptoms can include:
- Trouble breathing
- Feeling tired
- Muscle aches
Most people have mild symptoms. Some people have no symptoms at all. But in other people, COVID-19 can lead to serious problems like pneumonia, not getting enough oxygen, or even death. This is more common in people who are older or have other health problems.
Will I need tests?
Yes. If your doctor or nurse suspects you have COVID-19, they test samples of fluid taken from inside your nose and mouth. They might also do tests on a sample of mucus that you cough up, as well as your urine and stool (bowel movements). These tests can all show if you have COVID-19 or another infection.
Your doctor might also order a chest X-ray to check your lungs.
How is COVID-19 treated?
Most people with COVID-19 have only mild illness and can rest at home until they get better. If you have more severe illness, you might need to stay in the hospital, possibly in the intensive care unit (also called the “ICU”). There is no specific treatment for the infection, but the doctors and nurses in the hospital can monitor and support your breathing and other body functions, and make you as comfortable as possible.
You might need extra oxygen to help you breathe easily. If you are having a very hard time breathing, you might need to be put on a ventilator. This is a machine to help you breathe.
Can COVID-19 be prevented?
There are things you can do to reduce your chances of getting COVID-19:
- Wash your hands with soap and water often. The table has instructions on how to wash your hands to prevent spreading illness.
- Avoid touching your face with your hands.
- Try to stay away from people who have any symptoms of the infection.
- Some experts recommend avoiding travel to certain countries where there are a lot of cases of COVID-19.
Experts do not recommend wearing a face mask if you are not sick, unless you are caring for someone who has (or might have) COVID-19.
If someone in your home has COVID-19, there are additional things you can do to protect yourself:
- Keep the sick person away from others – The sick person should stay in a separate room and use a separate bathroom if possible.
- Use face masks – The sick person should wear a face mask when they are in the same room as other people. If you are caring for the sick person, you can also protect yourself by wearing a face mask when you are in the room. This is especially important if the sick person cannot wear a mask.
- Be extra careful around body fluids – If you will be in contact with the sick person’s blood, mucus, or other body fluids, wear a disposable face mask, gown, and gloves. If any body fluids touch your skin, wash your hands with soap right away.
- Clean often – It’s especially important to clean things that are touched a lot. This includes counters, bedside tables, doorknobs, computers, phones, and bathroom surfaces.
- Wash hands – Wash your hands with soap and water often.
There is not yet a vaccine to prevent COVID-19.
How can I prepare for a possible COVID-19 outbreak?
It is hard to predict where future outbreaks might happen. The best thing you can do to stay healthy is to wash your hands regularly, avoid close contact with people who are sick, and stay home if you are sick.
If there is an outbreak in your area, schools or businesses might close temporarily. If this happens, or if someone in your family gets sick with COVID-19, you might need to stay at home for a period of time. There are things you can do to prepare for this. For example, you might be able to ask your employer if you can work from home, or take time off, if it becomes necessary. You can also make sure you have a way to get in touch with relatives, neighbors, and others in your area. This way you will be able to receive and share information easily.
If you or others in your family are anxious about COVID-19, keep in mind that most people do not get severely ill or die from it. While it helps to be prepared, and there are things you can do to lower your risk, try not to panic.
Where can I go to learn more?
As we learn more about this virus, expert recommendations will continue to change. Check your public health department to get the most updated information about how to protect yourself.
You can also find more information about COVID-19 at the following websites:
●United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): www.cdc.gov
●World Health Organization (WHO): www.who.int
If you think you may have the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has it, this self-assessment tool may help you determine if you need to seek further care.
This information is not intended to provide medical advice. If you have medical questions, consult a health practitioner or your local public health unit.
If you are feeling unwell with any of the following symptoms:
- Fever, new cough or difficulty breathing (or a combination of these symptoms)?
- Muscle aches, fatigue, headache, sore throat, runny nose or diarrhea? Symptoms in young children may also be non-specific (for example, lethargy, poor feeding).
And have experienced any of the following:
- Have you traveled outside the United States in the last 14 days?
- Does someone you are in close contact with have COVID-19 (for example, someone in your household or workplace)?
- Are you in close contact with a person who is sick with respiratory symptoms (for example, fever, cough or difficulty breathing) who recently traveled outside the United States?
If you answered yes to these questions, you should seek clinical assessment for COVID-19 over the phone or online.
The majority of COVID-19 illnesses are mild. A clinician can help guide whether you will require further care or potential testing in person. Please use one of the following options:
- Use a virtual online doctor evaluation. One options is to download and use Baptist Health Care onDemand App. It provides immediate virtual access to licensed doctors and experts anywhere 24/7. After you enroll, you can start your virtual visit using any smart phone, tablet, or computer.
- Contact your primary care provider (for example, family doctor) or local health department.
If you start to experience worsening symptoms, please call your local emergency department or health department first for further instructions.
If you answered no to these questions, it is unlikely that you have COVID-19.
Nevertheless, you should continue to monitor your health. If you develop any new symptoms, please seek clinical assessment and testing for COVID-19.
If you’re new at this breastfeeding thing, it’s certainly worth taking some time to review this advice from others who have gone through it themselves and have a few tips to share.