COVID-19

COVID-19 Vaccine

Effective Friday April 23, all pregnant folks are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine with the addition of pregnancy to the list of “highest risk” health conditions under Ontario’s Guidance for Prioritization of Phase 2 Populations for COVID-19 Vaccination.

The SOGC position statement supports the use of ALL AVAILABLE COVID-VACCINES approved in Canada in ANY TRIMESTER pregnancy and during breastfeeding.

For those individuals residing in Thunder Bay and surrounding areas, please visit https://tbrhsc.net/vaccinations/ to book your vaccine appointment or call (807) 935-8100.

For individuals in the District communities, please contact your respective Family Health Teams, or visit https://www.tbdhu.com/districtvaccines for more information.

Pause on AstraZeneca Vaccine Roll Out

As of May 11, 2021, Ontario has paused the rollout and administration of first doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine out of an abundance of caution due to an observed increase in the rare blood clotting condition, known as vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT).

The decision to pause is also based on the increased and reliable supply of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines and the downward trend in COVID-19 cases across Ontario. This allows for the province to pause administration of first doses of AstraZeneca to look at the data and information to be able to provide direction for second doses.

Read the full statement from the Ministry of Health here.

COVID-19 VACCINES AND BLOOD CLOTS FAQS – Thrombosis Canada

COVID Vaccine & False Link to Infertility

Health Canada will only approve vaccines if they are safe and effective, which includes impacts on fertility. There is no evidence that the COVID-19 vaccine decreases fertility or harms the placenta or fetus.

The mechanism of action of this mRNA vaccine and existing safety data provide reassurance regarding the safety of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines during pregnancy. The false theory that the COVID-19 vaccines cause infertility is based on the disproven idea that one of the spike proteins in COVID-19 and the Syncytin-1 protein (which help placenta development) are the same. They are not.

If you are trying to become pregnant now or want to get pregnant in the future, you may receive a COVID-19 vaccine when one is available to you.  You do not need to avoid pregnancy after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. You do not need to do a routine pregnancy test before getting vaccinated.

False Claim COVID Vaccine Shedding

Individuals who have received a COVID-19 vaccine cannot shed or release any of the vaccine components. Your menstrual cycle cannot be affected by being near someone who received a COVID-19 vaccine. None of the vaccines authorized for use in the Canada contain a live virus so it is not possible to shed it.

Many things can affect menstrual cycles, including stress, changes in monthly schedule, problems with sleep, and changes in diet or exercise. Infections may also affect menstrual cycles.

Vaccine Information

Factsheet on COVID-19 vaccine in pregnancy and breastfeeding from the Provincial Council for Maternal and Child Health

Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada: COVID-19 vaccination in pregnancy

Pandemic Pregnancy Guide on Instagram

This social media account is developed by physicians, obstetricians and residents at St. Michael’s Hospital to help pregnant people navigate their COVID concerns.

Conclusions: Preliminary findings did not show obvious safety signals among pregnant persons who received mRNA Covid-19 vaccines. However, more longitudinal follow-up, including follow-up of large numbers of women vaccinated earlier in pregnancy, is necessary to inform maternal, pregnancy, and infant outcomes. (Shimabukuro et. al, 2021)

Planning your Vaccine – BC Centre for Disease Control & Ministry of Health

CDC Information about COVID-19 Vaccines for People who are Pregnant or Breastfeeding

Sunnybrook Hospital COVID Vaccine FAQ for Pregnant, Breastfeeding or Trying to Conceive 

Article “COVID vaccine in pregnancy triggers strong immune response in mom, babies”

Clinic Policies

At Maternity Care Midwives, client safety is our top priority. We are currently implementing policies to keep our clients safe and reduce the spread of Coronavirus during this pandemic.

Clients must wear a mask (cloth or medical grade) and perform hand hygiene when entering the clinic. If you do not have a mask, one will be provided to you.

Clients are asked to attend appointments alone.

    • Our clinic is following the current Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 Guidelines for providing care in a community setting. In order to minimize the number of people in the office at one time and reduce the spread of COVID-19, clients are asked to attend their appointments alone.
    • As midwives, we understand the importance providing family-friendly services and a positive social environment in our clinic. We miss seeing the smiling faces of your partners and other littles!  We are staying up to date with the changing COVID-19 guidelines and are looking forward to when it is safe to welcome an accompanying adult at appointments again.
    • If you are experiencing exceptional circumstances, please contact our administrator or speak with your midwife prior to your scheduled appointment to discuss your individual situation.
    • If your support person is required for transportation, we request they stay in the vehicle for your appointment.
    • You may call or video chat with your partner during your appointment. You may ask the midwife to record the baby’s heartbeat.

Clients must pass through screening when entering the clinic.

    • In the past 3 days, have YOU or a MEMBER OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD experienced one or more of the following new or worsening symptoms: Fever, Cough, Difficulty breathing, Muscle aches, Fatigue, Headache, Sore throat, Runny nose, Nasal congestion, Hoarse voice, Difficulty swallowing, Chills, Change in sense of smell/taste, Gastrointestinal symptoms (e.g. nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea)?
    • Have you traveled outside of Canada in the last 14 days or outside of Northwestern Ontario (Manitouwadge to the Manitoba Border) in the last 7 days?
    • Have you had close contact without personal protective equipment (PPE) with anyone with a confirmed or probable (being tested at present) case of COVID-19?
    • Are you a staff/resident of a congregate living setting and institution (i.e. retirement home, shelter, detention center or group home) or have you had close contact with a staff/resident of a congregate living setting or institution?
    • In the last 14 days, have you tested positive for COVID-19 or are you waiting for test results because of symptoms?
    • If you fail the COVID screening, please contact the clinic prior to your appointment and the midwife will arrange to do your appointment over the phone.

Changes to our prenatal visit schedule.

    • Midwives received an order from the Chief Medical Officer of Ontario to reduce non-essential visits on March 19, 2021. As per The World Health Organization recommended visits for a positive pregnancy outcome, we have received guidance on what is deemed an “essential visit.” The current recommended visit schedule is for in-person visits is: one visit in the first trimester, two visits in the second trimester (16-20, 28 weeks), and five contacts in the third trimester (31-32, 34-36, 38, 39, 40, 41 weeks).
    • We will be following the routine prenatal care schedule, alternating between in-person and phone appointments.
    • Your midwife team may discuss changing appointments to in-person if any clinical concerns arise (e.g., learning disabilities, concerns about fetal growth, high blood pressure, mental health concerns).
    • Clients who are under shared care or are transfers of care to an obstetrician, will have the majority of their visits conducted by phone as in-person assessments will be done by their doctor. 
Gestational Age (Weeks) Appointment Type
8-10 Phone
12 In Person
16 Phone
20 In Person
24 Phone
28 In Person
30 Phone
32 In Person
35 In Person
36 In Person
37 In Person
38 In Person
39 In Person
40 In Person
41 In Person

 Changes to our postpartum visit schedule.

  • Providing postpartum care at home was established as a key part of the midwifery model. We are still offering home visits on a reduced schedule during the pandemic.
  • We are currently offering 2 home visits to the parent-infant dyad in the postpartum period. A home visit will be offered within the first 48 hours of birth and at least one more additional time in the first week.
  • Additional visits at 2 and 4 weeks postpartum will be conducted over the phone.
  • The 6 week discharge visit will be in person at the clinic.
  • Your midwife team may discuss changing the frequency or type of visit if clinical concerns arise (e.g., breastfeeding concerns, poor weight gain, mental health concerns).

Hospital COVID-19 Policies

  • Labour and Delivery patients must enter through the Labour and Delivery Entrance (down to the right of the Emergency entrance).
  • All patients and care partners are required to wear a mask when entering the hospital and will be asked to don a new procedure mask every time they enter after performing hand hygiene
  • All individuals who enter our Hospital must call Labour and Delivery 684-6540 on arrival and pass through screening
  • You are not permitted an essential care partner (ECP) unless you are admitted to the hospital. ECPs are not permitted for initial labour checks, routine NSTs, Biophysical Profile ultrasound, Rhogam injections, or other low risk obstetrical activity.
  • Once admitted, the birthing parent may have 1 ECP present.
  • Caesarian Sections
    • 1 ECP may be present in the OR during a Caesarian Section (subject to availability of PPE)
    • ECPs of positive/presumptive patients will not be permitted in the OR
  • After delivery (vaginal or C-section) – 1 ECP is allowed for the first 6 hours of life or until the end of that day’s visiting hours (8 pm), whichever is longer.
  • Only 1 hospital access is allowed
    • Designated ECPs who are on opioid replacement therapy will be allowed to leave if needed to access their medication or for medical appointments. Social Work may be able to support these ECPs.
    • Smoking ECPs are encouraged to bring their own Nicotine Replacement Therapy for stays on any of the Women & Children’s Program areas. Leaves for cigarette breaks are not permitted. Alternatively, an alternate ECP who can remain with hospitalized patient should be considered.
  • ECPs must remain in the room with the patient at all times. Leaves to the cafeteria or Robin’s Donuts are not permitted.
  • Meals will only be provided to the admitted patient. ECPs must bring any food/drink they will require for the duration of their time in hospital.
  • Individuals who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 will not be eligible for entry to the hospital and will not be permitted to be an ECP in any Women & Children’s department
  • If at any time an ECP becomes COVID symptomatic, they will be required to leave the premises and may not return until they have been medically cleared.
  • Appeals regarding the ECP policy should be directed to Katie Forbes, the Department Manager for Labour and Delivery / Maternal Newborn by phone at 684-6548 or by e-mail at forbesk@tbh.net.
  • The use of inhaled nitrous oxide (Entonox or “laughing gas”) has been discontinued during the COVID-19 pandemic due to uncertainty around the risk of contamination and the potential for aerosolization of the virus.
  • The use of the tubs in the birthing suits is NOT permitted during the current outbreak.

COVID-19 Pandemic- Essential Care Partner (ECP) Guidelines- Women & Children’s Program

Additional Resources

Having a Baby during COVID-19

PREGNANCY, CHILDBIRTH AND CARING FOR NEWBORNS: ADVICE FOR MOTHERS DURING COVID-19

WHO COVID-19: Pregnancy and Childbirth

TBDHU COVID-19 Pregnancy, Breastfeeding & Newborns

Public Health Agency of Canada: COVID-19 Being Prepared

COVID-19 (coronavirus) in Ontario

Government of Canada Travel Advice re: COVID-19

OMama: COVID-19 — Pregnancy, birth and the newborn

Disinfecting Your Home During COVID for planned Home Birth

Thunder Bay District Health Unit Informati

The Coronvirus While Pregnant or Giving Birth

National Perinatal Association

Being Prepared

Covid-19 Status in Ontario

What do I need to Know?

Talking to Your Children abut the Virus

Social Distancing Doesn’t Have to Mean Social Isolation

Facts CDC

World Health Organization- When and How to Use Masks

Government of Canada

Travel Information