MONTEREY COUNTY, Calif. (KION) Soon-to-be mothers throughout Monterey County are growing more worried as their due dates approach amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
With hospitals serving as hotspots for the virus, women say they're nervous about delivering a newborn in the same building--even if they're doing so in a different wing.
"More emotions, more fear," expectant mother Jody Rodriguez said. "Definitely anxiety about is my baby going to be safe in the hospital?"
Jody's due date is getting closer, and she's planning on delivering her baby at the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula (CHOMP). But she's getting worried.
"What is this virus going to look like five weeks from now when I'm going to deliver?" Rodriguez asked.
She said she's concerned about her family's exposure to the virus before, during and after her delivery. To help protect people like them, local hospitals are setting some new rules.
"CHOMP has changed their procedure to not allow more than one support person," Rodriguez said.
And for Jody, that's her husband.
"You know, as a first-time mom, I wanted my mother there as well," Rodriguez said.
"While a birth partner is allowed and other family members have to stay at home, we definitely encourage using FaceTime and phone calls and pictures," Dr. Elizabeth Clark, OBGYN, said. "Just to keep other family members up-to-date and involved."
But doctors are trying to reassure their patients.
"At this time, you know, there’s no evidence that suggests that pregnancy really increases a woman’s risk for contracting COVID-19," Clark said.
Doctors are also trying to limit the time those patients are in the hospital, if possible. But mothers throughout the county are still concerned, and not only for themselves.
"I have already this pre-guilt feeling of, like, what if I take a bed from someone’s mother, father, grandfather, grandmother," expectant mother Mikaelaa Crist said.
And with all these worries, doctors want patients to be communicating as best as they can.
"Encourage them to be open and honest with their doctor about their concerns," Clark said. "I think all concerns are valid, especially in this time."