COVID-19 Mental wellness
To all patients:
The current outbreak of COVID-19 is certainly unsettling and anxiety and fear are normal reactions. We are encouraging patients to take the following to heart:
– In a time of 24/7 news and social media, we encourage everyone to take care of their own personal well being and mental state by focusing on what you can control. For example, simple cleaning procedures, personal hygiene, and helping others when possible. Focus on what you can control one day at a time.
– If you find yourself having overwhelming stress reactions to the current situation, here are ways you can support yourself:
Avoid excessive exposure to media coverage of COVID-19.
Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch or meditate. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep and avoid alcohol and drugs.
Make time to unwind and remind yourself that strong feelings will fade. Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories. It can be upsetting to hear about the crisis and see images repeatedly. Try to do some other activities you enjoy to return to your normal life.
Connect with others. Share your concerns and how you are feeling with a friend or family member. Maintain healthy relationships.
Maintain a sense of hope and positive thinking.
For our pregnant patients, there is not currently information from published scientific reports about susceptibility of pregnant women to COVID-19. Pregnant women experience immunologic and physiologic changes which might make them more susceptible to viral respiratory infections, including COVID-19. Pregnant women should do the same things as the general public to avoid infection. You can help stop the spread of COVID-19 by taking these actions:
Cover your cough (using your elbow is a good technique)
Avoid people who are sick
Clean your hands often using soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer
We do not know at this time if COVID-19 would cause problems during pregnancy or affect the health of the baby after birth.
We still do not know if a pregnant woman with COVID-19 can pass the virus that causes COVID-19 to her fetus or baby during pregnancy or delivery. No infants born to mothers with COVID-19 have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. In these cases, which are a small number, the virus was not found in samples of amniotic fluid or breastmilk.
In limited studies on women with COVID-19 and another coronavirus infection, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV), the virus has not been detected in breast milk; however, we do not know whether mothers with COVID-19 can transmit the virus via breast milk.
We understand patients’ fears of needing to go to the hospital for your pregnancy, labor and delivery. As always, we will do our best at avoiding any non-essential visits to labor and delivery or the emergency room. The hospital staff is working diligently to prevent the spread of the virus and any infected patients would remain in isolation. At this time, the hospital is limiting two visitors to the hospital and they must be the same two people. We would advise to keep young children at home and not bring to the hospital for visits.
We continue to follow guidance from the CDC and the Vermont Department of Health as the situation develops. At this time we are continuing all OB/GYN care in the office. If indicated by the state and public health agencies, we may be advised to cancel any non-essential visits such as annual exams, consults, and non-emergent gynecologic visits. We would plan to continue any obstetric visits and care to ensure pregnant patients are cared for and not experiencing pregnancy complications.
Rest assured, we are doing everything in our power to provide a safe office environment and hospital care for our patients.
There is a strong chance that some of phone staff (triage nurses, scheduling) will be working remotely in the near future. They have been advised to use *67 to safeguard their phone number and name. If you have called the office and are expecting a return call, make sure you are able to accept no caller ID phone calls. They may appear on your phone screen as Anonymous or Private. To turn off Anonymous Call Reject, press *87.
Stay mentally well and healthy,
From the Maitri Health for Women team