Amanda Williams, MD, discusses coronavirus effects on labor plans of expectant mothers

Amanda Williams, MD, MPH

As hospital systems across the country prepare for an increase in coronavirus patients, obstetrics-gynecology departments have had to adjust, including scheduling the inducement of labor for full-term pregnant women, according to a New York Times article.

The article, “Coronavirus Threatens an Already Strained Maternal Health System,” quoted ob-gyn experts about how their health care organizations are coping with birth and delivery during the coronavirus outbreak. The Permanente Medical Group (TPMG) of Northern California is the first major hospital group to offer induced labor for Kaiser Permanente members who are at 39 weeks, according to the article.

Amanda Williams, MD, MPH, a TPMG ob-gyn and maternity director at Kaiser Permanente Oakland Medical Center, said the goal is to have women deliver before they get sick, their partners get sick, or the hospital reaches capacity because of increasing coronavirus patients.

“We cannot force anyone to have an induction,” Dr. Williams said, “but we can very strongly recommend it if this continues to get worse.”

The story noted that other health care organizations have converted their labor units into space to care for COVID-19 patients, and some have prohibited visitors to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

“These are extraordinary times, and we’ve had to take extraordinary measures,” Dr. Williams said.

Read the full story on the New York Times site.