I know this is a stressful time, when instead of focusing on this joyful time before the delivery of your baby, you may have concerns or fears related to the Coronavirus pandemic. Please be assured that the OB staff at LVMC are dedicated to providing you with the best support we can during this hard time.
Question: Are you offering tours and childbirth classes during the pandemic?
Answer: Unfortunately, not at this time. The safety of our patients is our highest priority. Therefore, we will not allow any unnecessary traffic into the department. As for the childbirth class, I am working with our staff to create a video we can send to you directly to discuss the information given at our monthly childbirth class, along with some valuable links to information that may help you and your partner be prepared prior to your arrival.
Question: Is it safe to come to the hospital for my NST procedures?
Answer: Yes, NSTs (fetal Non-Stress Tests) are an essential part of monitoring your pregnancy. If your OBGYN determines that your NSTs can be either moved or rescheduled, they will decide so on an individual basis. We are expediting your registration process, allowing patients to check-in at the front desk and then walk directly to the OB department.
Question: Can I bring in my partner during labor?
Answer: Yes, at this time we are allowing your partner or support person to be with you during your stay with us. Your partner/support person must be free from any signs of infection, such as cough, fever, respiratory illness and/or diarrhea for the past 7 days. We also ask that your support person stay with you at all times and not come and go throughout your stay. We will provide a pull-out bed for your support person to stay each night.
Question: What precautions are taken to make sure patients are protected?
Answer: The nursing staff is hypervigilant about using proper hand hygiene prior to any patient contact. During the pandemic, I am staffing the department to allow nursing staff to have consistent assignments and care areas. Minimizing the number of visitors and the coming and going of birthing partners will also limit the spread of any potential infection. All staff throughout the hospital are monitored daily for signs of infection and are sent home if they are exhibiting any symptoms.
Question: How can I be best prepared to bring home my baby during the pandemic?
Answer: Please call your family and friends ahead of time to let them know that during this pandemic – even for laboring moms – visitors are not allowed into the hospital, to prevent the spread of infection. These new rules are for the utmost protection for your family and all the patients in the department. Please ensure you have a thermometer at home, both an infant, and adult thermometer, for when you return home. Our lactation support staff will work with mothers who are planning to breastfeed. You are currently producing antibodies and immune support in your breastmilk and this nutrition is so important to your baby. Once you’ve been discharged following the arrival of your baby, please stay home. Set up a plan with a family member or friend to help deliver any groceries or items you may need. Remember to only take the baby out to medical appointments, as necessary. Most importantly, even in these uncertain times, remember to enjoy this precious time in your lives.
Melinda DeHoyos is the director of Perinatal Services. Most recently, DeHoyos was the hospital’s Nurse Educator. She has a Master’s of Science in Nursing with an emphasis on leadership and management. She also earned a Bachelor’s Degree in biological sciences. She has six years experience in the OB department as a registered nurse.