Pregnant women must go to ultrasounds on their own to limit the risk of contamination, while midwives favor telemedicine, which is covered 100% by health insurance. Update with Dr. Pia de Reilhac, President of the National Federation of Colleges of Medical Gynecology (FNCGM).
Facing coronavirus and in this period of health crisis, certain movements are authorized, in particular when it is a question of medical reasons. But do you really have to go to the hospital for your appointments if you are pregnant? Yes. “The three mandatory ultrasounds are maintained and expectant mothers must continue to be followed during their pregnancy“affirms Dr. Pia de Reilhac, president of the National Federation of Colleges of Medical Gynecology. Pregnant women are therefore followed up on the scheduled date but certain arrangements are put in place:
“We try to maintain the prenatal visits monthly, but it all depends on the distance from the future mother. Also, we prefer appointments in town, especially to the attending physician when possible, rather than to the hospital“, specifies Dr. Pia de Reilhac. In addition, teleconsultation can be a good alternative to check the future mother’s weight gain, question her about her appetite, her sleep, or her pregnancy symptoms (headache, pain, etc.). It is also possible, depending on the case, to send him a blood test. “However, teleconsultation has its limits since it is impossible to assess remotely if its blood pressure rises, and this is very important during the last months of pregnancy.“, specifies the president.
In a press release dated March 31, Adrien Taquet, Secretary of State to the Minister of Solidarity and Health, specifies that midwives have the possibility of carrying out telemedicine for early prenatal maintenance, the 7 sessions of preparation for childbirth as well as the prevention assessment. These remote pregnancy monitoring procedures are covered 100% by health insurance. “Midwives can thus continue to care for patients who cannot move while limiting the risk of spreading the coronavirus within offices“.
The National Federation of Colleges of Medical Gynecology recommends that patients come alone to consultations, without companion or child. A blow for future parents, but necessary for their health. The future dads will not be able, these next weeks of confinement, to be alongside their spouse to hold their hands and admire baby moving via the ultrasound. In addition, action will be taken: “visits will be spaced, there will only be one person at a time and the time will be a little longer because between each ultrasound, everything must be disinfected for the next patient “, explains the specialist.
Can you shift your ultrasound date?
In the event of fever or cough, expectant mothers must of course contact their doctor to see whether to postpone the appointment. Otherwise, “the three ultrasounds can be performed between the 11th and 13th week of amenorrhea (for the first), between the 21st and 23rd week of amenorrhea (for the second) and from the 33rd or 34th week (for the third ultrasound)“, she recalls. Pregnant women with twins have an ultrasound to do every month. In other words, it is possible to postpone her ultrasound date by a few days, provided that stay on time. But given the more restrictive arrangements and the waiting time between each visit, this risks delaying appointments sometimes too late. “It is therefore better to arrive on time for your appointment and leave immediately!“advises the health professional.
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If for some expectant mothers, the childbirth preparation sessions are canceled, it is nevertheless possible toorganize a video preparation session, with his midwife. Sometimes small groups of two or three people can be maintained taking into account health recommendations. “Finally, we must not forget that life goes on and that these measures are put in place to protect pregnant women, but also the medical profession.“during this Covid-19 epidemic period.
The conditions of issuance of work stoppages have been relaxed for pregnant women in the 3rd trimester of pregnancy, considered to be “at risk” by the High Council for Public Health (HCSP). “Since March 18, expectant mothers can benefit from a work stoppage directly established by health insurance, via the declare.ameli.fr teleservice for a period of the epidemic“, specifies the ministry for Health.
If future mothers have to go to their ultrasounds alone, is it the same for childbirth? For the time being, some maternities refuse the presence of the father to limit the risks of contamination at birth. Others accept the father on the day of delivery, taking the necessary precautions, but he cannot stay with the mother and the child for the following days. In a notice given on March 27, CNGOF recommends the presence of fathers at childbirth, under certain conditions.
In all cases, maternity visits are refused during this epidemic period. Finally, depending on the evolution of the virus in France, it is likely that maternity hospitals will take joint and appropriate measures to protect mothers and their babies. It is therefore advisable to contact her maternity unit if you need to give birth in the coming days to find out what arrangements are made. Consult our maternity guide.