First-hand knowledge of pregnancy during the COVID-19 pandemic

When deciding whether to expand our family during the COVID-19 pandemic, my husband and I decided that we did not want to delay. I was nervous about pregnancy during the pandemic, but I also knew that the vaccine was about to come out and I wanted to do the right thing for our family.

My husband and I are now expecting our third child, a baby boy. In July, we are very excited. However, compared to my previous pregnancy, pregnancy during the COVID-19 pandemic is a different experience.

Pregnancy and the COVID-19 vaccine

When I was about two months pregnant

COVID-19 vaccine

Become available.I’m not sure whether to get the vaccine, so I started to do

the study

Decide what is best for me around pregnancy, COVID-19 and vaccines.

according to

CDC research

Among more than 400,000 women aged 15 to 44 (23,434 of them are pregnant and tested positive for COVID-19), pregnant women are three times more likely to be admitted to the intensive care unit and more likely to receive intensive care 2.9 times mechanical ventilation compared with non-pregnant women in the same age group.

Although the risk of death for pregnant women with COVID-19 is still very low, 1.5 per 1,000 women, the risk of death for pregnant women is 70% higher than that of non-pregnant women. Women experience physiological changes during pregnancy, which may be the cause of the increased risk of severe COVID-19. These changes include increased heart rate and oxygen consumption, decreased vital capacity, and decreased immune system function.

I’m both Hispanic and white, and

Hispanic and Latino communities

We have seen more COVID-19 cases and higher death rates.According to the CDC, Hispanics or Latinos died of

2.3 magnification

Their white counterparts. I don’t want to be another statistic. As a mother, I want to do everything I can to protect myself, my children and my family.

Consult my doctor

When deciding whether to vaccinate, I first talk to my obstetrician

Pennsylvania Medicine
. My doctor told me that although the data is still limited, other pregnant doctors and front-line staff have indeed been vaccinated against COVID-19 and they are all fine. My doctor advised that there is evidence that pregnant women infected with COVID-19 may face greater risks of adverse pregnancy outcomes and adverse risks to the growing baby. My doctor said to look at my lifestyle and comfort level to determine my risk assessment. She also said that she would support any decision I made.

Analyze new information

In mid-January, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf added pregnant women to

Phase 1a

Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout plan, if I decide to vaccinate, give me the opportunity to make an appointment. The American Academy of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the Society of Maternal and Fetal Medicine emphasize that pregnant women who choose to be vaccinated should not be denied the COVID-19 vaccine currently authorized by the US Food and Drug Administration.

After weighing the risks, I decided to vaccinate.I received the first dose


In the second trimester of my 17th week of pregnancy, I had no symptoms except for pain at the injection site. Four weeks later, I received the second dose at 21 weeks of pregnancy and felt the same sore arms, headaches and some slight fatigue the day after I received the second dose. However, the next day I felt good and the baby kept kicking as usual.

Doctors have now found that babies born to vaccinated mothers have COVID-19 antibodies, and the study also found

Antibodies are transmitted through the mother’s breast milk.

It is these findings that helped me know that I made the right decision to protect myself and my baby.

Prenatal care

As there are many prenatal appointments during pregnancy, Penn Medicine now allows face-to-face and

Telemedicine access

Used for OB sign-in. They want to see you in person during your initial scan and the first few visits, but after that, if your risk is low, all other appointments can be virtual if you want. Penn Medicine provides a virtual hybrid schedule for prenatal check-ups in an attempt to minimize the risk of pregnant women contracting COVID-19.

Regardless of the type of visit, the basic prenatal care has not changed. For example, just like a standard prenatal check-up, my blood pressure will be checked at every check-up. The only difference is that for my telemedicine access, I only use a home sphygmomanometer instead of a nurse to measure my blood pressure, which I will soon be able to buy from Amazon for about $20.

My preferred pregnancy tracking app

My preferred pregnancy tracking app is

Ovia Health
. I used it during the first two pregnancy and I like it. I think this is the best app that can guide your pregnancy journey. In fact, I even used it before Independence Blue Cross started offering it to its customers.

The application has a very user-friendly interface. It is interactive and fun to use, and if you know the gender of your baby, you can even customize it. One of the most useful functions is food safety and drug inquiry. For example, you can enter “Advil®” and it will provide you with risk levels and alternative recommendations. You can also find any food, from blue cheese to brie to sushi. This feature is especially useful for novice mothers who are trying to understand safe eating during pregnancy.

You can also access symptom finding tools, weekly videos, and community forums for women to ask questions. Ovia Health provides a personalized experience for women with daily updates and information and weekly articles about my baby’s growth. One of my favorite app features is size comparison, which shows me the size of my baby compared to fruits and vegetables, even “weird but cute animals”. There are things to look forward to every week.

The application not only pays attention to your baby, but also pays attention to the health of the mother. There is a mental health assessment and a daily self-care checklist.

My husband also has this app on his mobile phone. One of his favorite features is that he can see what I see and we can follow the baby’s progress together.

Make the most of your health insurance

If you connect the Ovia Health app to your health insurance, you can get free breast pumps and other useful resources. For example, I have been receiving articles about pregnancy during the pandemic and returning to work after maternity leave. I also have contact with Ovia Health Coach. I can text my health coach at any time.In fact, I use health guidance resources to get nutritional information and help me get resources to decide

Do I want to get the Covid-19 vaccine during pregnancy.

I am grateful to the health guidance team and resources provided by Ovia Health and my doctors in Penn Medicine for helping me get pregnant during the pandemic. I also thank my health, my support system and my daughters, who are anxiously awaiting the arrival of their brother in this July!

This article was originally published in

IBX insight

About Monique Malden

Monique Muldoon is the account executive of Independence Blue Cross’s national sales and account management team. She is responsible for managing and retaining key accounts, acting as the account leader and the main contact for the accounts in her business book. Monique completed her Master of Business Administration (MBA) at Villanova University and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the LeBow School of Business at Drexel University. Monique manages a business manual of 10 customers, representing approximately 25,000 members.

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