The Corona virus causing Covid-19 (COrona VIrus Disease – 2019) is a virus that spreads quickly, and can cause severe problems with breathing. Fortunately, there is no evidence that pregnant women are more severely affected (in contrast to other viral illnesses like influenza.) Precautions are therefore similar during your pregnancy as if you were not pregnant.

We will carry on ultrasound examinations during pregnancy during the Coronavirus epidemic, as these examinations are essential elements of prenatal care, and cannot be postponed indefinitely. We will take extra precautions. During the time of lockdown, and to minimize exposure in the hospital, ONLY ONE ACCOMPANYING PERSON, AND NO CHILDREN, IS ALLOWED. Please remember that these arrangements might change without notice, and check your SMS on the day before the appointment.

Prior to the first trimester ultrasound, you can consider alternatives (such as a virtual genetic consultation).

Please call us beforehand if:

  • you have any symptoms of fever, coughing or shortness of breath, body aches, diarrhoea or sore throat;
  • if you have had contact with someone where Coronavirus has been diagnosed (or is suspected); or
  • if you have any other reason for self-isolation or quarantine.

If you should develop symptoms suggestive of Coronavirus infection (fever, coughing, shortness of breath), don’t go to the doctor! Stay at home, and call the Mediclinic coronavirus hotline at 0860240024, or the DoH coronavirus hotline at 0800029999.

Although the COVID-19 vaccine has not been tested in pregnancy, current mRNA vaccines stay in the muscle where it has been injected, and do not reach (or cross) the placenta. Protective antibodies do cross the placenta to the baby. Pregnant women are encouraged to be vaccinated. More on vaccination available from the South African Society for Obstetrics and Gynecology and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.

To book a vaccination at Mediclinic Panorama, enrol on the government site, and create your own booking. Alternatively, you can email your name, surname, ID number and mobile number to pan.vaccination@mediclinic.co.za. You will then receive an SMS from Mediclinic Panorama the day before your appointment.

Some other sources of information on COVID generally:

Coping with anxiety and depression (Women’s Health Group & South African Society of Psychiatrists)

SASOG (South African Society for Obstetrics and Gynaecology)

ISUOG (International Society for Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology) patient leaflet

Discovery Health

Momentum Health

Mediclinic

Department of Health