Delivery During COVID Times - Natural Vs. Scheduled C-Section

Ambili S Kartha

Created by Ambili S Kartha
Updated on Jul 21, 2020

Delivery During COVID Times Natural Vs Scheduled C Section
Reviewed by Expert panel

Delivery During COVID Times - Natural Vs. Scheduled C-Section 

Pregnancy is a special time full of excitement and anticipation. However, the fear and anxiety about the outbreak of COVID-19 are, no doubt, clouding this precious time. The rate of COVID cases is still increasing alarmingly. The government urges to avoid hospital visits for usual monthly medical checkups. Therefore prenatal checkups are compromised, and many expecting mothers do it over a call. Pregnant women are also afraid to go to the hospital for their monthly checkups in fear of the possibility of contacting COVID-19 patients who is still in the incubation period.

Moreover, many expecting mothers who are in their last trimester speculate the impact of COVID 19 situation on their labor, delivery, and their newborn baby. As, so far, there is no cure or vaccination for COVID, rather than getting tensed, it's time to persevere. Expecting mom might be wondering if a C-section or natural delivery is safe during this pandemic situation. This article may shed some light on that aspect.

Change Of Prospects In Giving Birth

Nowadays, the world is witnessing several makeable changes in the process of delivery:

  • In the US, the demand for home births is increasing.

  • In many European countries, hospital policies have not allowed partners to visit the hospital or be in the labor room during labor. 

  • In the Netherlands, the hotels are converted into hospitals to take care of pregnant women.

  • NHS urged to turn hotels into birth centers to help the pregnant women to stay away from hospitals during the coronavirus pandemic.

  • Also, NHS urges retired and student midwives to support NHS staff in these popped up birth centers.

Natural Vs. Scheduled C-Section During COVID time

When it comes to the question of vaginal birth or ac section safe during this COVID season, we can say the pros and cones are the same as pre-COVID time. There is, at present, no evidence to favor a method of birth over another in the context of COVID 19. All the sanitizing measures will be taken in the hospital for safeguarding the mother and newborn in both the labor room and operation room. Therefore, a healthy mother with zero pregnancy complications should opt for a vaginal birth. And if there are complications that necessitate a c-section, the doctor will definitely go for a scheduled c-section.

Hospitals are taking all the measures to bring down the chances of a person to person transmission of the virus. Let's generally see what all changes happened / should happen in maternity clinics and hospitals on the backdrop of COVID 19: 

  • The number of staff is minimized, and all staff should be provided with a PPE kit.

  • The doctors and those who assist the doctor should wear PPE

  • Labor rooms should be sterilized frequently.

  • During Vaginal Delivery

  • During the first stage of labor, in case the expecting mother is not having regional anesthesia, she will be allowed to walk inside the labor room.

  • Nitrous oxide, which is used for pain management, is not recommended in the context of COVID-19 as it increases the chances of respiratory contamination.

  • During C-Section

  • In the context of COVID 19, staff in the operating theater will be wearing PPE to prevent the spread of infection and to keep the mother and child safe.

Changed Hospital Policies In India 

Most of the hospitals and clinics changed their policies and protocols in the context of the COVID pandemic. Here are some important changes:

  • The person who accompanies the expecting mother to check up should drop the patient at the entrance and wait in their vehicle. 

  • The bystander should undergo the COVID test and clear it. The switching of supporting patients will not be allowed.

  • The person who stands with the pregnant woman should be easily recognized by the staff. Some hospitals provide a special colored wristband to wear at all times. 

  • Maternity patients are screened for COVID-19 while entering the hospital. 

  • Testing for Covid-19 before delivery is mandatory.

  • If the result is positive, the mother will be put into an isolation room for delivery.

  • In case the mother is turned positive for COVID, routine procedures like delayed cord clamping and skin-to-skin contact between mother and newborn will be avoided.

  • Making use of donated breast milk screed for coronavirus from healthy mothers are also considered.

  • Bystanders / husband or doula is allowed to join the expecting mother in labor only if they passed the screening for COVID 19.

  • No visitors are allowed at many hospitals.

Having COVID-19 is not a ground for a C-Section. Both vaginal birth and cesarean are equally safe when it comes to COVID-19. The birth method poses no risk. Be brave. Remember, you are going through a unique situation, and your child is being born into a rapidly-changing world. You are not alone, and there are people to support you. Your child needs a courageous and intelligent mother. On the basis of limited information, COVID-19 found to cause no harm to unborn babies. Happy pregnancy and delivery.


This content has been checked & validated by Doctors and Experts of the parentune Expert panel. Our panel consists of Neonatologist, Gynecologist, Peadiatrician, Nutritionist, Child Counselor, Education & Learning Expert, Physiotherapist, Learning disability Expert and Developmental Pead.

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