The entire world is learning to accept a new normal in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Change has become the only constant as we all navigate a sea of ever-changing rules, regulations, and guidelines. NHRMC understands that this can be an especially stressful time for expecting mothers and their families.
Whether you’re giving birth for the first or the fifth time, COVID-19 has made it even more difficult to know exactly how your birthing experience will go. As they prepare for giving birth during this time, expectant parents may have a lot of questions. We checked in with our experts to find answers to help reduce the stress you may be feeling due to COVID-19.
Before Your Delivery Day
Virtual OB Visits
NHRMC Physician Group – Glen Meade Center for Women’s Health is offering virtual OB Visits for their patients through MyChart and Zoom.
“We’re encouraging our patients to get a blood pressure cuff to be able to monitor their blood pressure at home,” said Jennifer B. Calfee, MD, an OB/GYN with the practice.
Providers generally want to check on you and your baby at least every four weeks during your pregnancy. To cut down on in-person visits during the COVID-19 pandemic, virtual visits are scheduled between in-person visits.
Because only patients are allowed in the office during in-person visits, Dr. Calfee said the virtual visits allow partners or other family members to participate in the visit and ask questions.
Virtual Childbirth Education Classes
For patients of Glen Meade Center for Women’s Health - NHRMC Physician group, NHRMC is offering Virtual Childbirth Education classes. These classes will help you prepare for labor, birth, and the postpartum period. The classes are taught by Glen Meade Center for Women’s Health providers. Click here to find out more.
Virtual Birthplace Tour
You and your family members can take a virtual tour of the Betty H. Cameron Women’s & Children’s Hospital that will guide you through what to expect from the time you walk in through the doors, including the triage, labor and delivery, and postpartum areas.
As you tour the hospital via the video, you will be provided helpful information about precautions in place designed to protect you and other patients during your stay. It also helps you see where you need to go and how to get there as well as which services and amenities are available to you and your baby.
Watch the tour here:
Use NHRMC MyChart to Make Getting Ready for Baby Easier
You can use NHRMC MyChart, your free, online health portal, to complete important tasks prior to your delivery.
Before your delivery, you can use MyChart to:
• Fill out your parent worksheets
• Complete your birth plan
• Register for delivery at the NHRMC Betty H. Cameron Women’s & Children’s Hospital
Patients who sign up for NHRMC MyChart can also use the portal to communicate with their physicians, manage appointments, access test results, review their medical history, and request a downloadable version of medical records. Learn more about NHRMC MyChart.
When You Come to NHRMC to Deliver Your Baby
Safety at Betty H. Cameron Women’s and Children’s Hospital
Safety is a top priority for our teams, and we know this is also of great importance to our patients. NHRMC has also put additional safety measures in place to help safeguard the health of our moms and babies.
· All people entering the building are screened at the door
· Everyone wears a mask while at NHRMC facilities
· NHRMC employees practice social distancing
· Additional regular cleaning and disinfecting is being completed
For expectant moms concerned about coming to the hospital during the pandemic, Dr. Calfee said the location of NHRMC’s Betty H. Cameron Women's & Children's Hospital may also offer some additional peace of mind. The Women’s and Children's Hospital is a separate facility with its own entrance.
Who Needs to Wear a Mask and When
Some expectant moms have asked if they will be required to wear a mask during delivery. Mothers do not have to wear a mask while in labor.
According to Gwen Deininger, RN, Administrative Coordinator of NHRMC’s Childbirth Department, mom’s support person will be given a mask when they arrive for check-in. Currently, the support person is not required to wear a mask when in the room with the patient.
“If he or she will be moving around in the hallways or when they leave the hospital, we are asking them to please wear the mask,” Deininger said. “We’ve had quite a few patients or support people bring in their own masks and some with cute little patterns. People are more than welcome to bring their own.”
Visitor Restrictions During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Normally, new mothers can choose to have multiple visitors join them in the delivery room. Due to mandatory visitors restrictions designed to protect patients and staff, only one support person is permitted in the delivery room and to join the mother during her stay.
Your support person can leave during the day, but they need to stay overnight from 7p.m. to 7 a.m.
When patients first arrive, their support person will be allowed to check them in first, then park the car and get their belongings regardless of the time of check-in.
Deininger explained that the chosen support person will not be allowed to trade off with someone else.
“Expectant moms must choose one support person, whether it’s your husband/partner, parent, or friend, and that person will be the only support person allowed to accompany you throughout your stay. For example, if your husband checks in with you when you are admitted, your husband is your support person. He is not allowed to stay for six hours and then trade places with your mom or friend for the next six hours.”
Learn more about NHRMC visitor restrictions.
What Do I Need to Bring With Me
The hospital is not currently allowing any outside food in the facility. This includes delivery, take out, and homemade food. Food will be provided for your support person during your stay.
While the delivery itself cannot be captured on film, expectant moms can use applications such as FaceTime or Zoom to interact with loved ones during their labor and also immediately after delivery when the baby begins skin-to-skin with mom so patients should bring devices they wish to use for those purposes.
Support After Your Delivery
Virtual Mothers Milk Club
New moms and their little ones are invited to join the Mothers Milk Club breastfeeding support group. The group provides moms the chance to connect with other new moms, get breastfeeding support from certified lactation consultants, and get answers to any questions they may have about breastfeeding.
The Mother’s Milk Club meets virtually every Monday through June 29. Click here for more information.