Pregnancy support during COVID-19

Published 7:08 pm Wednesday, August 26, 2020

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Pregnancy can be a time of many changes and questions, and adding a pandemic into the mix only creates more.

Optima Health is ready to answer these questions. The group is helping debunk myths and ease worries with a free virtual baby shower from noon to 1:30 p.m. Aug. 29 for the Hampton Roads region.

“The baby shower is going to be engaged with discussion with the guests,” said Courtney Seaborne, the organizer for Optima Health Baby Showers. “We also plan to do a virtual tour of the maternity ward in Norfolk to let the moms get more comfortable and know what to expect.”

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At this shower, expecting mothers can tune in to hear from the Optima Health Partners in Pregnancy program, Norfolk Department of Public Health WIC Program, and the Family Maternity Center at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. Along with the discussion and tour, a raffle for a stroller will take place.

“I am excited that we can do this throughout this new normal,” said Seaborne.

More baby showers are in planning, but there are no set dates yet. The next one will be set in Hampton as the virtual showers make their way through different parts of the state.

Along with the baby shower, Optima Health wants to make sure expectant mothers understand the safety measures that are now in place during the pandemic.

“We really want to make sure pregnant women do all they can to stay healthy,” said Sandy Coleman, manager for integrated care management at Optima Health. “We want to make sure they are following the CDC guidelines, taking prenatal vitamins, and keeping their prenatal care and postpartum appointments.”

Figuring out the new procedures for any office during this time can be daunting and confusing. Coleman recommends calling ahead to make sure what policies are in place to be prepared. The prenatal and postpartum visits are so crucial that Optima Health offers up to $50 in gift cards to Optima Family Care members who complete them.

“Anytime anyone has a fear, it is real to them and valid,” said Coleman. “If these women have concerns, we can help them and direct them to the right person to take care of their needs.”

Coleman also encourages pregnant women to look into Partners in Pregnancy. The Optima Health Partners in Pregnancy program is available to all Optima Health members. While specific benefits may differ depending on the type of insurance coverage, the program provides many services free of charge, including screenings for health risks, help with transportation to medical appointments, education on topics such as nutrition, safe sleep, and breastfeeding, help find a participating physician, and coordinating prenatal care.

To register for the free baby shower, visit or call 833-261-2367.