Missouri Baptist Weighs In: COVID-19 & Preparing for Baby


This post is sponsored by our partner Missouri Baptist Medical Center.

Having a baby under normal circumstances is stressful. Having your baby during a pandemic could add additional anxiety.  It is important to have an open line of communication with your medical team. COVID-19 might have changed your original birth plan, but you should still speak with your obstetrical provider about your preferences. Talking through multiple scenarios with your provider will help alleviate some of the anxiety.  Allowing flexibility in your birth plan will enable us to provide the wonderful birth experience that you desire while simultaneously doing everything possible to protect the health of you and your baby. Know that your obstetrical provider is part of a large team working to help safely celebrate the birth of your child.

What risks does Coronavirus pose to my baby?  

Babies can contract COVID-19 when in contact with infectious respiratory secretions from coughing, sneezing, or other respiratory droplets, but it is unknown at this time whether newborns with COVID-19 are at increased risk for severe complications.

Can I breastfeed if I start experiencing symptoms? 

COVID-19 is a new disease, and we are still learning how it spreads. Currently, information regarding transmission through breastmilk is unclear. Questions should be addressed with your pediatrician. If mothers test positive for COVID-19, they should discuss breastfeeding and having close contact with their babies with their medical providers.

What if there isn’t enough staff to care for me when I go into labor? 

The Childbirth Center at Missouri Baptist Medical Center is fully staffed. Each team member is screened daily to ensure they are healthy to care for you and your baby.  The labor and delivery staff, including your provider, is prepared to care for you and your baby.

Can I still have my partner with me in the delivery room? 

Yes, at MoBap, we believe having your support person is an integral part of your birth experience. Your support person is your one obstetrical visitor allowed in the hospital. They will be screened and must adhere to the hospital visitor guidelines. This visitor is expected to be with you in your room at all times.

Will I be allowed to have visitors after my birth/C-section? 

An obstetrical patient who has delivered is allowed to have one visitor during their time at the hospital. This one visitor should remain the same throughout your hospital stay and should remain in your room when at the hospital.  The visitor will be screened and must adhere to the hospital visitor guidelines.

Should I quarantine my newborn from any and all visitors? 

At the hospital, we are taking every precaution to safeguard your baby’s health.  When at home, to keep you and your baby safe, we recommend using the same precautions that have been set in place for our entire community: proper and frequent handwashing, staying away from individuals who are sick, practicing social-distancing (6 feet or more), and shelter in place with members of your immediate household. At this time, it is still unknown whether newborns are at increased risk for severe COVID-19 complications, so it is best to err on the side of caution. We realize having a newborn can already feel isolating to some. In these times, this feeling of isolation can increase, so staying connected with your support system is very important. Video calls are a great way to introduce your new baby to friends and extended family members! We recommend you discuss this further with your pediatrician.

COVID-19 is a new disease, and we are continually learning about this disease and how it spreads. As new information comes in, BJC hospital policies are subject to change to best keep our patients and staff healthy and safe. Visit https://www.bjc.org/coronavirus for the latest information on COVID-19 and our hospital policies.

Information provided by: David Weinstein, MD Chief of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Missouri Baptist Medical Center and Katy Reese, RN, Director of Women and Infants, Missouri Baptist Medical Center