Maple Grove Clinic Reports Pandemic ‘Mini-Baby Boom’
As we approach the holiday season, Rachel Scarpinato of Maple Grove is getting close to a significant milestone of her own.
“I am past my due date, so they are trying to find out if little man is just hanging out and relaxing or if we need to intervene and get him out, or kind of what’s going on,” Scarpinato said.
This will be Scarpinato’s first child. The medical staff at Clinic Sofia in Maple Grove helped her through the entire pregnancy, one that just so happened to coincide with the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Being in the middle of a pandemic, not knowing what this is, has been a little scarier, I would say,” she said.
Despite the heightened concern and added stress brought upon by COVID-19, Clinic Sofia staff members say the pandemic hasn’t stopped people from conceiving.
“We did see that in March and April, we actually did have an uptick in the number of new pregnancy visits during those two months,” said Dr. David Clay, an OBGYN at Clinic Sofia. “It was about a 20 percent increase from what we normally see during those two months this year.”
In fact, Dr. David Clay and some of his Clinic Sofia colleagues have contributed to the mini-baby boom, with several having delivered all in the last few months.
The boom, however, didn’t last long.
“Most likely as the pandemic continued onward and, probably for financial reasons and for family planning reasons, it was ‘eh, maybe not,'” Dr. Clay said. “And then we saw [pregnancies] kind of drop back to normal.”
Having a baby in the COVID-19 era
Yet nothing has truly been “normal” since the pandemic started.
For the women who are planning to give birth in this COVID era, Dr. Clay urges everyone to follow the safety protocols put forth by the CDC.
“Certainly for the most part, women who get pregnant are otherwise young and healthy, so hopefully their bodies will do fine with them being pregnant,” Dr. Clay said. “But pregnancy itself is an immuno-suppressive condition to some degree, so those patients have to be cautious.”
He says there are still many unknowns about how COVID might affect a fetus, and it might be years before experts know what, if any, long-term effects there could be on a child whose mother contracted COVID during pregnancy.
“It seems like those babies seem to be doing fine as well, but honestly we won’t know that for a while,” he said. “So that’s another thing that I just discuss with patients, again, just try to be cautious, do all the things that you’re supposed to do.”
Which brings us back to Scarpinato, who’s been keeping up with her appointments under less than ideal circumstances.
“You can’t have anybody come with you to these appointments, so you’re coming in to see, is the baby growing properly? Are there any issues? And you have to do that all by yourself,” she said. “Which, that’s not fun. That’s pretty nerve wracking.”
Fortunately for her, the end of the road is close.
“Hopefully in the next week or so, I think probably is when he’ll be here,” she said.