NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – The novel coronavirus has doctors concerned that pregnant women who have severe COVID-19 could miscarry, and are trying to figure out how the virus affects the placenta – the lifeline for the baby.
That adds to the emotional struggle women like Alina Gonzalez already face.
“It’s a dark cloud that hangs over you. I think of it everyday,” she says after two miscarriages. “Without a doubt, I’m anxious, I’ve fought depression.”
A U.K. study says one in six women, who lose a baby early on, can face long term symptoms of post-traumatic stress. What’s most troubling Alina says there’s little encouragement to talk about it.
She says, “If you’ve had a miscarriage, it’s very hush hush. So if we’re not even allowed to talk about miscarriage, how are we going to talk about the feelings that come after the miscarriage.”
Dr. Amanda Kallen with Yale Fertility Center says, “Yes, we probably just don’t necessarily provide enough in terms of counseling, in terms of resources, in terms of support for that after the loss phase.”
A recurrent comprehensive pregnancy loss program which Dr. Kallen is helping to establish will offer a more sensitive approach.
“Not only the ability to understand why a loss happened but also to have the support after a loss,” says Dr. Kallen. “We’re thinking about it more, we’re talking about it more.”
Alina is more focused about the baby she is now carrying, conceived through in vitro fertilization.
She says, “There’s still fear. There’s a hope and a fear. I like to say that a year or two years from now when I find myself locked in the bathroom, just praying for five minutes of quiet time that will be the day that will hit me and I will realize that you know, the cloud has dissipated.”
It’s a program needed more than ever in the midst of COVID-19.
Meantime, Alina is in her third trimester and is doing well.