Expecting mothers and COVID-19

The chance of contracting COVID-19 is more dangerous for people who are immunocompromised - pregnant women are included in that pool.

RAPID CITY, S.D. — Pregnancy can be an anxious time for many women and they are not spared from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pregnancy is a unique state, and one that causes you to be with somewhat of an impaired immune system and that is particularly problematic with respiratory viruses like coronavirus and the flu.

Dr. Heather Moline, Ob-Gyn at the Rapid City Medical Center says, “Because of their relative immunocompromised status, we do put pregnant women in the higher risk category for potential risk of infection with a moderate of severe illness, again as opposed to the majority of the population.”

That being said, Dr. Moline says the latest data reports there is potential COVID-19 that can be transmitted from mother to baby, but the babies in the study have had a mild illness and were not severely affected. Since the studies are limited, she says the data can be challenging.

Covid 19

To ward off infection, expected mothers can take extra precautions during this time.

Moline says, “Obviously social isolation is what is recommended, excellent hand hygiene. But the thing that we don’t always consider as exposures, like going to the grocery store, potentially having someone go to the grocery store for you is going to be the biggest exposure that some people have.”

COVID-19 is also making delivery plans look a bit different, stricter rules only allow one support person to be with a patient during labor and delivery process and that’s as long as they are healthy.

The new plan can cause anxiety for women about to give birth. Some are considering having their baby at home. Calls inquiring about Midwife services are increasing says Cassie Applegate, owner of Apple Tree Midwifery.

“A lot of women are just concerned about being exposed to more people in the hospital and some women are concerned about not having their Doula present at the birth,” Applegate said. “It is going to reduce the expose for these families – to know that they can stay in their environment with their family.”


Despite the increased inquiry for home birth, not every woman is a safe candidate. Women are encouraged to do their own research.

Dr. Moline encourages women that have questions and are anxious about their pregnancy or delivery, to call their providers for solutions to relieve their anxieties.

Dr. Moline also says to reduce exposure; the Rapid City Medical Center is doing more telehealth visits with patients.

Categories: Coronavirus, Local News