Making Decisions About Home Care

What To Expect During The First Appointment With Your Obstetrician During The COVID-19 Pandemic

by Mae Ferguson

Looking at a positive home pregnancy test result can be both joyous and overwhelming at the same time, along with any number of emotions felt at the realization that this life-changing moment is happening during a global pandemic. The next step for you to take is to have a pregnancy test done by an obstetrician to confirm the pregnancy. Here are several things you'll need to discuss with your partner and your obstetrician in that first visit. 

Your Medical History

Your obstetrician will need to know your medical history so they can determine whether or not you'll need extensive care from a perinatologist, which is a maternal-fetal medicine specialist, in addition to your regular checkups with the obstetrician. Health conditions, such as diabetes and lupus, are examples of pre-existing medical conditions that warrant additional monitoring from a perinatologist. Being underweight or overweight are also reasons that may require a referral to a perinatologist. 

If you do have any pre-existing medical conditions, including if you have recently had COVID-19, go to your primary care provider to sign disclosure paperwork so they can send your medical records over to your new obstetrician and perinatologist if you are referred to one. Your obstetrician and perinatologist can then access all the information they may need while monitoring your health and the health of your unborn baby.

Your COVID-19 Vaccination Status

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many health care offices have been requiring their patients to disclose their COVID-19 vaccination status. If you have already had your vaccination, you may need to show the receptionist your vaccination card before they can annotate it in your medical records in the obstetrician's office. If you haven't had a vaccination due to having had COVID-19 before, the obstetrician's office may want to have you take a test to see if you have antibodies. 

If you haven't had a COVID-19 vaccination yet, your obstetrician will be the best person to ask regarding any questions you likely have about whether to get vaccinated or not during your pregnancy. According to the CDC, the COVID-19 vaccines are safe to get during pregnancy. If you choose to not vaccinate, your obstetrician may ask you if you've had any COVID-19 symptoms before any appointment you have with them. Whether you are vaccinated or not, you may be required to wear a mask while in the obstetrician's office for checkups, depending on the current masking guidelines from your state.

Talk to a local OB doctor to learn more.