With the spread of the coronavirus reaching critical levels in Estonia, pregnant women and people close to them should be extra mindful of their health. As the population’s infection rates continue to climb, there are more cases of COVID-19 among pregnant women.
According to Dr Brigita Tamm, Head of the Women’s Clinic of East Tallinn Central Hospital, just over half of the COVID-19-positive women coming to give birth are asymptomatic and often learn of their infection after taking the test upon arrival. “However, the situation is changing and we are seeing more and more women with severe cases of COVID-19 coming to give birth,” says Dr Tamm.
Pregnant women are less resilient to illnesses and COVID-19 cases among them often take a more severe turn. In addition, the virus can also endanger the foetus. In any case, pregnant women should be mindful of all precautionary measures to avoid infection. This means avoiding public areas, always wearing a mask, maintaining good hygiene and working from home, if possible. It is also important to make sure that the family members surrounding pregnant women are just as responsible.
As long as pregnant women and their families adhere to restrictions and manage to avoid the virus, we will be able to move forward with family births where the father of the child or a close family member is allowed to be present during the birth. “This is currently only available to those families and women whose test upon arrival comes back negative. If the rapid COVID-19 test of a pregnant woman coming to give birth proves positive, their family members will not be allowed to attend the birth,” says Dr Tamm, Head of the Women’s Clinic.
Even if the woman coming to give birth is infected with the virus, they will be granted every assistance and our hospital stall will take all precautionary measures. “We have a separate delivery room for women with COVID-19 as well as post-delivery isolation rooms that are no different from regular rooms. The newborn is tested for COVID-19 and will be given breast milk in any event, but mothers diagnosed with the coronavirus must wear a mask while breastfeeding and handling the child. The hospital staff will do everything in their power to make sure women coming to give birth and their children are well looked after,” says Tamm.
Information for women coming to give birth
If you have contracted the coronavirus and require delivery care, notify the reception of East Tallinn Central Hospital before your arrival by calling 5308 0874. If possible, use the ambulance service for transport to the hospital (do not use a taxi). Report suspected coronavirus when calling an ambulance.
Upon arrival to the reception for women coming to give birth, contact the midwife in reception again by calling 5308 0874.