As a doctor and mother, OBHG’s Dr. Diana Glasser has worked diligently caring for patients throughout the pandemic. She works as an OB hospitalist at two community hospitals in California, and she has seen multiple waves of COVID-19 cases – including the worst one in December/January and one that began late summer this year.
Dr. Glasser is eight months pregnant and has a toddler who is almost two years old. As a pregnant doctor, she believes she has more empathy for her patients. “I can see how difficult it is for laboring patients to have to wear a mask or follow all of the additional safety rules. I definitely have more empathy for all of the rules that moms have to follow now.”
She also says that she can relate to how challenging hospital visitation rules of one support person in delivery are to patients. Not only does the support person has to show that they are vaccinated, or a negative COVID-19 test, but they have to stay with the patient in the hospital the whole time – they can’t leave and come back. This especially presents a problem for families with other children at home. “Now that I’m anticipating my own delivery, it’s hard planning the birth with our other daughter at home.”
Dr. Glasser had her first child and returned from maternity leave at the beginning of the pandemic. “I came back to work in April 2020. There was a lot of concern. We had a baby at home. We didn’t know a whole lot about the virus and how easily it was transmissible.”
“There was a level of fear at the beginning of the pandemic. But now that has changed. Now we wear PPE, are vaccinated, and have policies in place – now I feel protected by the vaccine. It’s in a controlled setting, I feel very safe. Now that we have the knowledge to protect ourselves and it has made it easier for us to treat patients who are symptomatic.”
Silver linings of the pandemic
Since the pandemic began, Dr. Glasser’s husband began working from home – he used to work 12-hour days and have a long commute each way. “We have had more time to spend at home with our daughter, that was unexpected. For us, it was a blessing to be able to spend a lot more family time together.
Dr. Glasser’s advice for pregnant women
When asked what advice she has for pregnant women during this pandemic, Dr. Glasser explains that vaccination is crucial. “I really wish all pregnant women would all get vaccinated. It’s our best defense against COVID.” She also recommends that pregnant women get their flu shot as flu season is approaching.
Pregnant women remain at high risk of COVID-19. Only about 30% of pregnant women have been fully vaccinated prior to or during pregnancy, according to the CDC. The CDC as well as the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend that pregnant women get vaccinated.
As a site director for OBHG, Dr. Glasser has worked with hospital administrators to establish protocol rules for triaging pregnant patients with COVID-19 symptoms. The protocols have helped to minimize exposure on the labor floor by keeping COVID-19 pregnant patients in specially assigned areas, including negative pressure rooms, so that other pregnant moms are not exposed.