Choosing adoption for your baby is a brave, difficult decision. This is true at any point in time, but especially now, as the wide-reaching effects of COVID-19 have disrupted American life on a truly massive scale.
Hospitals have become central locations of the American response to the global pandemic. But, as you are well aware, there are a lot of people who need to go to the hospital for reasons unrelated to COVID-19, such as labor and delivery.
Your hospital plan is surely on the front of your mind. It’s one of the biggest pieces of your adoption plan, and it’s already full of emotional weight. Now there’s a pandemic to deal with, and how will that impact your hospital plan?
Our specialists at American Adoptions have been getting a lot of questions about hospital plans in light of COVID-19. So, we thought it would be helpful to create this guide with the answers you need to know.
If you’re a prospective birth mother wondering how your hospital stay will go in a world with COVID-19, this article is for you.
First Things First: Speak With Your Specialist
Everyone’s situation is unique, and a variety of factors will determine how COVID-19 might change your hospital plan. The best thing to do is contact your adoption specialist with all of your questions. They are here for moments just like this — to provide guidance and a steadying hand in a turbulent situation.
Now, with that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the most common questions we are hearing on this topic.
What are the effects of COVID-19 on a pregnant woman?
Before getting to the actual hospital stay, you may be concerned for your own health and the health of your unborn baby. What are the effects of COVID-19 on pregnant women and on their unborn babies?
One thing we have learned about COVID-19 is that we have a lot to learn. This virus causes a brand new disease that seems to have a wide array of presentations, with some being severe and others very mild. As time goes on, more cases of COVID-19 can be observed, and more responses to the disease can be documented.
What does this mean? It means that we are in a fluid state of constantly changing information. There’s a lot to learn. However, this is what we know right now about the effects of COVID-19 on pregnant women:
According to the CDC, there is currently no data showing that pregnant women are affected differently than other people by COVID-19. However, the CDC also states, “We do know that pregnant people are at greater risk of getting sick from other respiratory viruses than people who are not pregnant.”
What does this mean for you? To be best protected, practice social distancing, wear a mask in public, and wash your hands after coming into contact with public, high-touch surfaces. If you have any other pre-existing conditions or are immunocompromised, then these practices are even more important.
What will my hospital experience be like as a birth mother?
Every adoption journey is unique, and that was true of pre-pandemic times. Now that things seem to have been turned upside-down by COVID-19, it’s even more likely that your experience will be unlike any others.
We wish we could tell you exactly what to expect. But, unfortunately, we can’t do that. We can tell you what to look for when thinking about how your hospital experience as a prospective birth mother might change because of COVID-19.
First, look for the new guidelines your hospital has put in place. Almost all hospitals are requiring patients and visitors to wear masks, so you can surely count on that. However, policies differ from location to location on things like visitors, COVID-19 tests and more.
Second, follow news about the virus in your area. If you are in a state with fewer confirmed cases, your hospital stay may not change as drastically. If, on the other hand, your state or city has seen several outbreaks, then you can expect your hospital stay to shift more significantly.
What happens if adoptive parents can’t be there?
Open adoption communication is the norm in modern adoptions, and it may be especially important to you. Getting to know the adoptive family before placement can increase your confidence and peace-of-mind about your adoption decision. For many prospective birth mothers, the presence of adoptive parents is an important part of the hospital plan.
What happens if the adoptive parents are not allowed to be at the hospital due to COVID-19? It will depend on your specific situation. Things like regulations in your state or city, as well as specific rules put in place by your hospital, will guide how this unexpected situation plays out.
Like many other questions here, the best way to find an answer for your hospital plan is to work with your adoption specialist.
Will I have to be tested for COVID-19 before the hospital?
This will depend on the guidelines put in place by the hospital you chose for your labor and delivery. In general, most U.S. hospitals are requiring a test for any new patients, so you should expect to receive a COVID-19 test when you arrive.
Is prenatal care still available face-to-face?
Depending on how far along you are in pregnancy and how early you created your adoption plan, you may still have months to go until you get to labor and delivery. What about all of the prenatal care leading up to that moment?
It’s important that you do not skip this vital care along the way during your pregnancy. However, how you receive this care could look different depending on where you live.
Many hospitals or medical offices around the country have instituted telemedicine practice, so that appointments can happen over the phone or over video chats. Speak with your primary physician to create a plan for your prenatal care.
Contact a Specialist Today
Do you have more questions about how your hospital plan will change because of COVID-19? Contact your specialist today. They are your best resource for understanding the effects of the pandemic on your specific situation.
And if you haven’t begun working with a specialist to create your adoption plan yet, call 1-800-ADOPTION or request more free information online at any time.