Almost a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, we are still having to adjust to 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 brings a new set of questions about exactly how your birthing experience will go. 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.
Should Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women Get the COVID-19 Vaccine?
Dr. Calfee said physicians with NHRMC's system are encouraging pregnant and breastfeeding women to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
"We don't have any reason to believe it would be harmful to mom or baby," she said.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women do still have to follow state guidelines and wait until their group is available to receive the vaccine. NHRMC announces when new appointments are available when we have additional supplies of vaccines. The status will be at www.nhrmc.org/coronavirus.
NHRMC has an email list available for anyone to sign up to receive notifications when COVID-19 vaccine appointments are available. To sign up, visit http://eepurl.com/hoG4r1.
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 active labor.
According to Gwen Deininger, RN, Administrative Coordinator of NHRMC’s Childbirth Department, mom’s support person and visitor must wear a mask at all times anywhere on campus, including while in the mom's room if the healthcare team is present.
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, mothers can have one support person and one visitor. They may also have one doula in the delivery room. The support person must remain with the mother during her stay.
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.
“Expectant moms must choose one support person, whether it’s your husband/partner, parent, or friend, and that person will be the main 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.”
However, the mother may also have a visitor and their visitor will be able to switch out with others.
The above visitor restrictions information may change at any time. For the most updated information about visitor restrictions, please visits: NHRMC visitor restrictions.
What Do I Need to Bring With Me
You can have food delivered to the hospital during your stay, but delivery people may not come inside the facility. The mom's support person must exit the hospital and pick up the food at an entry point. Moms can also bring prepackaged food into the hospital with them to eat during their 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. Please remember, you may not film staff without their consent or permission, and you may be asked to stop filming if it interferes with mom's care.
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. Click here for more information.