If you’re pregnant, your due date is getting closer every single day. You’re probably wondering what’s going to be different about your labor and delivery experience in the setting of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hospital policies vary not only from state to state but even within Fort Worth, Texas where I am located. So talk to your provider about how things are going to be different for your delivery experience.
The first thing that we’re doing in my neck of the woods is limiting visitors.
When you come to the hospital to have your baby, you’ll be allowed one visitor who can stay with you during the labor process. After labor and delivery, your visitor can return when you’re discharged from the hospital with your baby.
Our patients are not liking this one bit and I understand. But remember that these precautions are in place to keep everybody safe, especially you and your newborn baby.
When you come to the hospital for a cesarean delivery, normally we would allow one significant other to come back to the operating room with you.
During this pandemic, our policy is no visitors at all. This is disappointing and our patients are feeling nervous, upset, and very much alone. We’re doing everything in our power to make it feel more homelike and to give you all the support that you need. So please bear with us as we try to take care of you.
Another difference is that you may be having some telehealth visits with your provider instead of going into the office for your routine OB checks. If your pregnancy is going smoothly, this should work very well for most people.
We’re reducing the frequency of office visits and trying to talk to you more at home. This helps conserve our personal protective equipment but also helps keep you safe (and us!).
Currently, we’re reducing a lot of our ultrasound exams. So if you have a routine anatomy scan or a growth ultrasound scheduled, someone may call to reschedule your appointment for a later date if it’s not urgent. For the exams that are more urgent, we’re seeing you but not allowing any visitors to come back with you.
Again, this is a bummer. However, we are relaxing our restrictions on filming and taking pictures during the exams. Once the sonographer is finished with the anatomy scan, we are allowing people to turn on their phones and share your ultrasound experience with family and friends. We want you to feel like you are with someone important to you.
If you are considering a home birth, please talk about this with your provider. In general, if you’re planning a hospital birth, we recommend that you follow through with that plan. If you’re at home and you’re in labor and an emergency happens, first responders may not be able to get to you as quickly as they need to. The demand on their time right now has increased due to the pandemic.
If you’re uncomfortable with any of this information and you want to know what changes have been made at your location, please talk with your OB provider and clarify.
You deserve to have peace of mind and as much information as possible during this time.
We as health care providers are doing our very best to take better care of you during this unprecedented time. If you can spare a moment, please send us prayers and good thoughts.
Take good care of yourself so that we can take better care of you! A great way to take better care of yourself during this time is to increase your self-care and distress as much as possible.
If you haven’t already, download my free self-care guide with tips from real moms that I have personally worked with. They share their wisdom with us. Plus, in the back of the guide, there are two tasty and helpful recipes to get you through your pregnancy…from my kitchen to yours.
And don’t forget: you’ve got this.