Pregnant in the pandemic: How Penn Medicine supports new and expectant parents

The pandemic has left everyone with questions about what the future holds and whether or not they’re truly safe. For those expecting a child, the number of questions is exponentially bigger. “Will my partner be allowed into the hospital when I deliver?” “Is it even safe for my baby and me to deliver in the hospital if there are COVID-19 patients there?” “What about bringing my baby back to the hospital or the doctor’s office?” 

Pregnant person looks out the window with a hand on their stomach.

“It feels like a scary time to have a baby,” says Sindhu Srinivas, director of Obstetrical Services at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and an associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Perelman School of Medicine. “And it can already be an intimidating time.”

But thanks to years of work and ingenuity by Penn Medicine faculty in the department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, pregnant Penn patients are in safe hands. Penn Medicine’s hospitals delivered over 3,000 babies during March and April alone, spanning the peak of the pandemic. Clinicians here have implemented telemedicine tools and techniques which are designed for both safety and convenience.

“The novel coronavirus really turned 2020 into the golden age of telemedicine,” says Samuel Parry, interim chair of the department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Perelman School of Medicine. “Instead of using telemedicine for convenience or in order to bring medical assessments to people in remote locations, telemedicine now has become a necessity. Every patient is now basically ‘remote’ and needs to stay that way as much as possible.”

This story is by Alex Gardner. Read more at Penn Medicine News.