(CNN)Imagine the challenge of expecting a child without knowing what to expect. CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta shares the stories of three women who are due to give birth in the coming weeks and answers key questions about pregnancy in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Pregnant during a pandemic: Dr. Sanjay Gupta's coronavirus podcast for March 30
You can listen to this episode in your favorite podcast app or read the transcript below.
CNN's Vice President of Digital Productions Courtney Coupe: My name is Courtney. I am 37 weeks pregnant. I haven't seen my O.B. in about two weeks and a lot has changed in the world since then.
Dr. Sanjay Gupta: That's Courtney Coupe -- she's a colleague of mine here at CNN.
Like many other women across the country, she's now dealing with the fear of giving birth in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Coupe: What is supposed to be one of the happiest times of my life has just turned into a bit of a mess of chaos and confusion.
Dr. Gupta: Most of us are already finding it tough to deal with the novel coronavirus. So, imagine the challenge of expecting -- without knowing what to expect.
In this episode, we talk about how to deal with a pandemic when you're pregnant. I'm Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN's Chief Medical Correspondent. And this is "Coronavirus: Fact vs. Fiction."
Coupe: I have a lot of questions. Am I going to be safe? Is my doctor going to be safe? Is my baby going to be safe?
Dr. Gupta: These are the kinds of questions pregnant women are asking all over the country.
Pregnant women are vulnerable because they generally have lowered immune systems. So, they have to be really cautious.
The good news is that right now, there's no evidence that they're at a higher risk of being infected with this virus.
But infants are vulnerable to it -- a recent report in China shows that 11% of children who contracted the virus were under a year old, ended up in critical condition.
We still don't know if pregnant women can transmit the virus to their babies. To date, the novel coronavirus has not been found in breast milk or in amniotic fluid.
Now, those are the physical risks. Women are now also facing heightened mental and emotional concerns.
T: You wait and wait and wait to get pregnant and then you realize once you're pregnant, you're about to have a baby. And that's really gonna change our lives.
Dr. Gupta: We spoke to a woman who's facing this dilemma. She lives in New Jersey, but her hospital is in New York City.
I'm going to call her T, because she doesn't want us to reveal her full name.
T and her husband have always wanted to have kids -- though it took them a few years to get there.
T: I have a condition called PCOS. It just makes it difficult for me to get pregnant naturally. So, for me and my husband, we started trying pretty much right after we were married about six years ago.
Dr. Gupta: Eventually, they tried IVF -- and it worked.
After six years of waiting, T was pregnant with a baby girl.
T: I would say it was probably one of the best days of my life to hear that. It's really just been a desire to do all the other things that pregnant women do, and that's been us figuring out if we want to take a babymoon and then wanting to do maternity photoshoots and starting to plan a baby shower. And it's just this last trimester has been crazy because those last few things that we wanted to do at this point just seem to be disappearing.
Dr. Gupta: There's something else T is worried about. She was diagnosed with gestational diabetes, which means she's considered a high-risk pregnancy. There could be complications during delivery, and there is an increased likelihood of needing a C-section.
T: There could be a problem with her, not to mention there is already documented evidence of higher mortality rates for African-American women in labor.
Dr. Gupta: T is right -- studies have shown that black women are three to four times more likely to die of childbirth than white women.
Because of her high-risk pregnancy, T says she likes having a birth plan in place.
T: I feel more secure when I know I have options. And I don't freak out as easily if I know this didn't work because I can follow up with this, go to plan C, whatever.
Dr. Leana Wen: It's hard because this is a time when plans can be made and will be broken. I suppose that's true in pregnancy in general, but especially in these circumstances.
Dr. Gupta: That's Dr. Leana Wen. She's worn a lot of hats in her career -- she's practiced as an emergency doctor, she was Baltimore's health commissioner, and she was also the director of Planned Parenthood.
But there's one more thing that makes her a uniquely qualified voice.
Dr. Wen: I also am almost 39 weeks pregnant as of the time that we are speaking. I mean, I have a recurring nightmare myself of contracting Covid-19, and going through childbirth where I have to wear a mask.
And if my newborn were to get ill, she would become extremely ill because she doesn't have immunity and little babies are so fragile. And I know of so many other pregnant women who h