The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists joins the American College of Nurse-Midwives, American Academy of Family Physicians, and Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine in issuing this statement.
As the physicians, certified nurse-midwives (CNM) and certified midwives (CM) who care for patients and their families, we see firsthand the stress and uncertainty facing pregnant people, parents, and their support networks during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are listening to the people we care for and share their concerns about the impact of this pandemic on their intended plans for labor and birth. We stand in solidarity with our patients and are committed to working tirelessly to deliver evidence-based, respectful, patient-centered care to ensure parents and their families are supported during this time of pandemic.
Prenatal, delivery, and postpartum care are essential to the health and well-being of patients and infants. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the health care team is committed to delivering care in the safest, most respectful and appropriate way possible, including providing the critical support those who are giving birth deserve. Amid the significant strain on the health care system, the entire maternity care team is committed to making sure laboring patients get the support they need to birth confidently, safely and respectfully. Our organizations are rapidly developing and communicating guidance for our members and their patients based on the best available evidence to help inform their provision of care amid the pandemic.
Patients who are questioning the settings in which to give birth should have access to the most accurate health information about safety and risk. Hospitals and birth centers that are both licensed and accredited remain safe places to give birth in the United States. Effective communication is essential in this time of increased stress and uncertainty and we encourage pregnant patients to stay with the health care professionals who have been providing their care and talk with their physician or midwife about their concerns regarding labor support and safe birth care. This is especially true in some COVID-19 hot spots where hospitals are being forced to make difficult decisions as they confront significant challenges caused by the pandemic. Physicians, certified nurse-midwives and certified midwives, and the entire health care team will work to ensure that precautions are taken to make labor and delivery as safe as possible for their patients.
The safety and well-being of families and communities is of paramount importance. We are committed to providing quality, patient-centered care to pregnant patients and their infants during this challenging time.