Doctors specializing in obstetrics and gynecology are reminding women to maintain regular care during the coronavirus pandemic.
"We want to offer support during this challenging time for women and their families," said Dr. Katie Toft, MD, Medical Director for Premier ObGyn of Minnesota.
Toft says visits at their offices have been slower during the pandemic. However, care is critical, particularly for women who are pregnant or who are considering becoming pregnant.
"We continue to thoughtfully care for our pregnant patients during this time of uncertainty," Dr. Toft said. "Many couples are carefully considering starting a family during this time. Pregnancy does not appear to be increase the risk for complications related to COVID-19. Vertical transmission to the baby has not been reported. There is much we do not know currently. This decision should be individualized with your doctor. We have certainly seen an increase in pregnancies in our offices and are we are happy to care for you and your family."
Dr. Toft also notes that domestic abuse has been on the rise during the pandemic, putting women, children and families at risk.
"Public health guidelines that have recommended social distance measures and sheltering in place have made violence in homes more frequent, more severe and more dangerous," Dr. Toft said. "Pregnancy is often a time where abuse increases or escalates. I want to encourage women to reach out to their health care practitioner as we are here to support them and keep them safe."
Dr. Toft says there are resources available to help, including the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-SAFE (800-799-7233), or local women’s shelters and counseling centers.