UK OBGYN says pregnant women shouldn’t fear giving birth during coronavirus outbreak

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – A Lexington OBGYN says expecting mothers shouldn’t fear giving birth during the coronavirus outbreak.

Dr. Wendy Hansen is the chair of UK Healthcare’s obstetrics and gynecology department she says this can a time of heightened anxiety for all people, but especially pregnant women.

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“There is no way that you can social distance during a birth,” Dr. Wendy Hansen said.

The nature of childbirth, as Dr. Hansen said, is an intimate situation. Both Dr. Hansen and Chief Midwife Dee Polito with UK’s Midwife Clinic agree it’s okay to have anxiety, but expecting mom’s should focus that into positive anxiousness for the newborn.

“Even though there’s uncertainty and fear we want to reassure families that staying calm and replacing that fear with courage and confidence,” Polito said.



As far as changes, Dr. Hansen says you’ll notice a difference as soon as you walk on the UK Healthcare campus.

“One of the things that I think parents will notice is that when they walk into that UK space that campus it’s quiet,” Dr. Hansen said.

Quiet because for more than a week all elective procedures have stopped and non-essential workers are home, meaning fewer people around.

Other changes at UK include, only one support person in the room when you give birth.

We’ve heard about shortages in protective equipment. Dr. Hansen says all nurses and staff helping during labor are in masks and protective gear.

“Everyone now on campus is wearing a mask,” she said.

Dr. Hansen says at UK Hospital people being treated for coronavirus are isolated on a specific floor, quite a distance away from labor and delivery.

What if you have coronavirus and you’re going to give birth? Dr. Hansen says the harsh reality is you will be separated from your new baby.

“I think every mom both understands, sorta brings tears to your eyes at the same time,” she said.

As for the baby, Dr. Hansen says so far research shows babies who are exposed aren’t at any increased risk.

”Trust that we have your very best and your baby’s best interest at heart,” Dr. Hansen said.

To watch the full interview click here.