Massage & Bodywork

SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2020

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C h e c k o u t A B M P P o c k e t P a t h o l o g y a t w w w. a b m p . c o m / a b m p - p o c k e t - p a t h o l o g y - a p p . 55 Some of us are rejoicing as we reopen our adjusted massage therapy practices to COVID-19 realities. Others reopened and now have reclosed their practices as infection rates soar across the United States. Many of us are not ready to go back or are still restricted by local and/or state health mandates. Whatever your status, it is imperative you get ready for that next client—whether that's tomorrow or next month—and be prepared for how to work with them during the new circumstances brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. For those therapists who work with prenatal and postpartum clients, this is especially important. First though, a note: This article will NOT be covering necessary changes to your environment, policies, information collection, hygiene, etc., that are so thoroughly discussed elsewhere. ABMP has informative, practical input for you on their website, 1 as do most state associations and credentialing agencies. Also, stay current with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), 2 the National Institutes of Health, 3 the Centers for Disease Control Doing No Harm with Prenatal and Postpartum Massage Therapy During the Coronavirus Pandemic By Carole Osborne and Prevention (CDC), 4 and your local jurisdictions for up-to-date guidance relevant to massage therapy). Some of these agencies offer evolving data on the pandemic's specific impact during pregnancy, labor, and postpartum. I have combined information from these agencies and from Evidence Based Birth, 5 American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, 6 Midwives Alliance of North America, 7 the CDC, and other comparable agencies in other countries, resulting in a well- rounded perspective on COVID-19 and childbearing. From these sources during late July 2020, it appears that: • Pregnant women with COVID-19 may be more likely than nonpregnant women with COVID-19 to need care in an intensive care unit (ICU) or need a ventilator (for breathing support). • Pregnant women who are Black, Hispanic, or Asian may have a higher risk of severe illness or need ICU care more often than other pregnant women. This is likely caused by social and economic inequity, not biological differences. • Although the risk of needing more care in the hospital and having more severe illness may be increased, the overall risk of these outcomes is still low for pregnant women. • The risk of death is not higher for pregnant women with COVID-19 than for nonpregnant women with COVID-19. • Some pregnant women with COVID-19 have had preterm births, but it is not clear whether the preterm births were because of COVID-19. • Researchers have found a few cases of COVID-19 that may have passed to a fetus during pregnancy, but this seems to be rare.

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