Auckland obstetrician Michelle Wise joined the New Zealand Herald last night to answer questions around pregnancy and birth during Covid 19.

Wise said she knew lots of pregnant people had concerns about what the pandemic would mean for them, and wanted to help.

"It's an anxious time for everyone - I can only imagine what pregnant women are feeling," she said.

"There's so much out there on social media and it's scary. But pregnancy care in New Zealand is an essential service and all of us are working as usual."

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READ MORE: Giving birth in a pandemic: 'It was a surreal, weird time'

Wise said that since the lockdown was announced - and well before - midwives and obstetricians had been working around the clock to ensure maternity services would stay open and would remain as normal as possible.

Michelle Wise works as a clinician, teaches at Auckland University, and is a spokesperson for the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.
Michelle Wise works as a clinician, teaches at Auckland University, and is a spokesperson for the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

There was a national group working to share up-to-date information about birth and Covid 19, and Wise would be able to share what she knew with readers.

Wise, who works as a clinician, teaches at Auckland University, and is a spokesperson for the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said the most important message was still to try to avoid the virus.

Covid19.govt.nz: The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website

Pregnancy placed the body at higher risk because of the physiological changes during pregnancy to the heart, lungs and immune system.

Although research on pregnant women during Covid-19 was limited, there was information from the experience from Sars and Mers - previous coronaviruses - and from influenza, she said.

Wise would also be able to answer questions on maternity care, birth, and post-natal care during Covid 19.

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Speaking to the Herald last week, one of her key messages was around mental health - 70 per cent of women would have maternity blues - emotional ups and downs and mood changes - after birth.

"The important thing is to get support - the first line is their midwife - and then support from those around them virtually, like a post-natal coffee group through Zoom."

"And just focus on sleeping, eating, staying hydrated and looking after their baby."

Join our Q&A session on facebook.com/nzherald.co.nz at 8pm Thursday April 2.