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Woman's Hospital breaks down safety precautions for pregnant women amid pandemic

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BATON ROUGE- Woman's Hospital has released updated safety guidelines for pregnant women after the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that pregnant women with COVID-19 could be at a higher risk of more severe symptoms.

Having a baby, caring for a newborn, and healing from childbirth are all exhausting, stressful, and typically overwhelming experiences. For those who are going through these challenging times during a pandemic, there are even more hardships.

Delivering a baby while wearing a face-covering is just one of the many adjustments for expecting mothers. The CDC recently conducted a study that notes pregnant women with COVID-19 are more likely to be hospitalized and require higher levels of care than women who are not pregnant.

To minimize exposure to the virus, doctors recommend steering clear of large crowds and avoid going out in public when possible. The self-isolation is especially important during the last two weeks of pregnancy, physicians say.

“They (pregnant women) should also pay especially close attention to their health for any symptoms of COVID-19 and maintain regular visits with their OB-GYN to ensure both mom and baby remain in good health," R. Clifton Moore, M.D. said, medical director of maternal-fetal medicine for Woman’s Hospital.

Underlying health conditions can also play a role in pregnant women having more trouble fighting off the coronavirus.

"The thing I have seen most commonly would be obesity, hypertension, and diabetes," Dr. Marshall St. Amant said, a physician at Woman's Hospital.

Another contributing factor to consider is the strength of the immune system.

"Cell-mediated immunity is when you make antibodies against something, and that's something that goes along with pregnancy. So, we have known for years that women have increase rates of viral infections during pregnancy," Dr. Marshall St. Amant said.

Just last week, 29-year-old Allie Guidry died after testing positive for the novel coronavirus. She was five months pregnant at the time of her death, but fortunately, her baby Madaline survived.

Guidry was hospitalized with the virus at the end of May and placed on a ventilator a few weeks later, however, her symptoms did not improve.

To protect the health and ensure the safety of other pregnant women, doctors say it is imperative to follow these newly updated guidelines.

"Wear a mask the entire time you are in public, as all ways, wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands," Dr. Marshall St. Amant said.

Even with a healthy immune system and helpful guidelines to follow, those who are grieving remind expecting mothers to prioritize their health.

"Take the virus seriously because when you think it can't happen to you, it can happen," Michael Conish said, Guidry's boyfriend.

Denise Guidry, Allie's mother, says while she wants others to be cautious, she says "do not stop living your life." She continued, "Be cautious, be careful. It's no joke."

For the full list of recommendations and guidelines for pregnant women amid the COVID-19 pandemic, click here.

To assist the Guidry family with funeral expenses, click here.

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