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COVID-19: What to expect if you're expecting

Posted at 7:44 PM, Mar 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-20 19:44:23-04

(WKBW) — Stacy Ribbeck is set to welcome her new baby girl in just six weeks. Her 3-year-old son, Sam, will soon be a big brother.

"We have her name on the wall. Her name is Tess," Ribbeck said as she showed the nursery.

The West Seneca mom is just about 33 weeks along. Due to medical reasons, she has to deliver via C-section. Otherwise, her pregnancy thus far was really no different than her first.

"So far it’s been good, it’s been good until all of this happened and then it’s, of course, the anxiety, the nerves, the what-ifs," she said. Ribbeck is an elementary-aged physical education teacher. She’s been home since last Friday when schools closed.

"The only time we’ve gone out is I just had to take my 3-year-old around the block, but that’s it," she said. As COVID-19 continues to ramp up, Ribbeck said she has more questions every day. She plans on speaking further with her OB-GYN on Tuesday during her next appointment on what the virus means for her.

"We don't have a whole lot of data, but it looks like, right now, what we know is pregnant women are about at the same risk of getting the coronavirus as the normal population, Dr. Stephen Mechtler said. He's an Amherst-based OB-GYN and has been practicing for almost 30 years. He says pregnant women with underlying issues are at a higher risk when it comes to the virus. But overall, he says the few studies available show the risk to the unborn baby to be minimal or practically non-existent.

"We’re watching closely what the CDC recommends and every day things change," he said.

Dr. Mechtler said doctors are ready and prepared to continue delivering throughout this time, so pregnant women shouldn’t worry. His best advice to those expecting: practice social distancing, wash your hands, call a doctor if you develop any symptoms and stay away from those who are sick.

As for Ribbeck, her message to other expecting moms right now is simple: “We just need to breathe and trust that it’s all gonna work out and things are gonna be fine, we’re gonna be fine and our kids are gonna be fine.“