First-time parents weigh uncertainty, risks of COVID-19


(WATE/WKRN) — COVID-19 is impacting the lives of people nationwide, even first-time parents awaiting the birth of their child.  

“What are we bringing our child into this world, where there’s so much unknown going forward.” 

In two months, Phillip and Ashley Stevens will meet their baby. They have experienced a whirlwind of emotions, from anticipation to anxiety. 

“As you find out more news and there are more cases of pregnant women, it kind of makes you scared,” says Ashley. “It starts to hit closer to home.” 

This virus is tough. It’s also novel. Maternal-fetal medicine physician, Dr. Kim Fortner says, pregnant women don’t appear to have an increased risk, and at least right now, it doesn’t appear to impact the child.   

“A lot of us, that maternal instinct, we want to make sure we’re not doing anything to increase the risk of something happening to our babies,” Fortner says. “So, it’s reassuring to know there’s no association with birth defects, no association with problems to babies so far, in the reports we’ve seen.” 

Still, doctors are stressing the value of social distancing and added sanitary measures to expectant moms. Tennessee hospitals have also started spacing out check-ups to avoid potential exposure. 

“A lot of the society guidelines say that instead of coming every month, you come every other month, to the extent possible and certainly when you are in pregnancy,” says Fortner. 

Facilities are also limiting the number of guests for pregnant women at check-ups and delivery. 

“Now they’re saying you might not get visitors at the hospital which is kind of sad with her being our first child you want people to be excited and come visit, and be excited and celebrate with you,” says Stevens.  “I think that’s kind of hard to think about.” 

Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.


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