Covid 19 Updates, Information, and Resources

For current Covid-19 recommendations & prohibitions in BC, please read the current BC ordinance here.

Below is information about Covid-19, including changes we’ve made to our clinic as a result of Coronavirus, changes made at VGH, current best practice guidelines, and additional resources. We will try to keep this page as up-to-date as we can. As always, the health and safety of our clients is at the top of our minds as we contemplate best practice during this time.

Our clinic:

  • Per current BC medical directive, you must wear a medical mask (blue/white surgical mask) during clinic visits.  If you do not have a medical mask, we will supply you with one.  

Births at VGH:

For the health and safety of all hospital patients, VGH L&D has instituted the following changes:

  • Only 2 support people are allowed to attend each labouring person. Both support people must be wearing a medical mask at all times. If the support people are unvaccinated, only one is allowed.
  • There is no longer a waiting room on L+D. There are just a few chairs opposite the elevator on the 3rd floor; please let friends and family to remain at home and arrange visits after your baby is born.
  • Vaccinated visitors are allowed on the postpartum unit, but only 2 at a time.

Home Birth:

  • We ask you to limit the amount of support persons at home to two, and we ask that all support people remain masked. 

Please consider ways in which you can decrease the likelihood that you and your supports will be exposed to COVID-19 and other viruses. You are strongly encouraged to practice self isolation for the 2 weeks before your due date. Your partner / support person is encouraged to minimize their exposure to others in the community and their workplace.

Covid Vaccines while pregnant or breast/chestfeeding

  • In keeping with current recommendations and best evidence, we recommend that you get the two-part Covid Vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) and any available booster doses in pregnancy if you have not already done so. Vaccinating offers the best protection against Covid-19. Pregnant people are at increased risk from the virus. We strongly recommend vaccination to keep each client and our entire community safe.
  • Pregnant people are prioritized for vaccination AND booster. If you would like to book a COVID vaccine or booster, please register online or call 1-833-838-2323 and press 2, then tell the person you speak to that you are pregnant. 
  • The BCCDC has a patient resource re: receiving the Covid-19 vaccine in pregnancy or while breast/chestfeeding. You can access it here. Current recommendations from The Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada (SOGC) & The Society for Fetal Maternal Medicine (SMFM) are to recommend every qualifying pregnant or breast/chestfeeding person the Covid-19 vaccine. SMFM has a terrific information sheet here, and the SOGC statement is here. There’s another very thorough decision aid here, which was developed by US doctors at Baystate Medical Center in Massachusetts.The SOGC has lots of information about Covid-19 vaccination in pregnancy here. We are also happy to discuss this further with you.
  •  If you develop a fever at any gestation after receiving the COVID vaccine, we recommend taking 500-1000mg of acetaminophen (Tylenol) every 6 hours until the fever goes away.

If you get Covid during pregnancy

Please call or email our clinic to let us know if you test positive for Covid during your pregnancy. Most people will have a mild course of illness, but we would appreciate the opportunity to check in with you.  Current BC guidelines for pregnancies affected by Covid-19 include a growth ultrasound between 28-32 wks of pregnancy (or within 2-4 wks of testing positive for Covid if later in pregnancy), a hospital delivery, and the use of EFM (external fetal monitor) to monitor baby’s heart-rate during labour. These recommendations are based on data drawn from pregnancy outcomes between Spring 2020-January 2022, which means that they do not include data drawn from the more mild Omicron variants. We are happy to discuss these guidelines with you and, as always, to support informed choice decision-making.

General Pregnancy, L&D, and Postpartum Guidelines regarding Covid-19

 

  • Pregnancy
  • The majority of pregnant people who contract Covid-19 have a mild course of illness. However, pregnant people are at increased risk for both contracting C-19 and experiencing more severe illness. 
  • Covid-19 transmission to the baby in pregnancy seems unlikely. There have been a few case reports of possible transmission in pregnancy. 
  • There is no conclusive data suggesting an increased risk of miscarriage or early pregnancy loss in relation to COVID-19 or Covid-19 vaccination.

 

  • Postpartum
  • There is no evidence that the virus has been found in the breast milk of people infected with Covid-19. In the light of the current evidence, it is advised that the benefits of breastfeeding outweigh any potential risks of transmission of the virus through breastmilk.
  • Canadian pediatric policies support keeping mom & babe together, even in situations where the birthing person has tested positive for Covid-19 or is symptomatic. All babies born to COVID-19 positive mothers should have appropriate close monitoring and early involvement of neonatal care, where necessary. Babies born to people testing positive for COVID-19 will need follow-up and ongoing check-ups after discharge from the hospital.  A mother with confirmed Covid-19 or who is symptomatic with flu like symptoms should take all possible precautions to avoid spreading the virus to the infant, including washing hands before touching the infant and wearing a face mask, if possible, while breastfeeding.

 

Other tips and information:

  • Wondering if you need to swab or self-isolate for Covid-19? Take the Covid-19 Self-Assessment Tool (We suggest downloading the free app for your phone.)
  • If you have any symptoms of Covid-19 including fever >38c, chills, coughing, shortness of breath, sore throat, runny nose, loss of sense of smell or taste, headache,  muscle ache, and/or GI symptoms do not come to clinic. Please stay home, take an antigen test, and isolate.  Anyone who is symptomatic & needing urgent obstetrical assessment will be assessed at VGH.
  • Overwhelmed by anxiey about Covid? There’s a good guideline from Fraser Health here.
  • As a reminder, the best way to protect ourselves and our community from Covid-19 are really simple:
  • Hand-washing – Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after touching your face, before eating, and after using the washroom. This is the best way to prevent transmission of any virus. If a sink is not available, the next best option is hand sanitizer with 60% alcohol content.
  • Avoid touching your face if possible. COVID-19 and other viruses are spread through coughing and sneezing, but also by touching surfaces that the virus is living on and then touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. 
  • Cough or sneeze into a tissue and dispose immediately.  Alternatively, folks can cough or sneeze into their sleeve.
  • Physical Distancing—As much as reasonably possible, keep two arms-lengths (one yours, one the other person) apart from others.

 

Thank you for your understanding during this time. We recognize that this is a changing situation, and our guidelines may change to reflect best practice recommendations as they continue to evolve. Please do not hesitate to call our office at 250-590-7605 if you have any concerns.

“Be kind, be calm, be safe.”
–Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry