Pregnancy is stressful to navigate. It becomes even more difficult during a pandemic.
Below are a few aspects that have changed to the standard labor and delivery plan in hospitals due to the pandemic.
- Testing: Be prepared to get tested after you arrive at the hospital for labor and delivery to ensure your safety, your baby’s and other individuals in the hospital.
- For a scheduled C-section, testing usually happens 48 hours before.
- Hospital Visitors: Many hospitals have changed their visitors’ policies during the pandemic to control the spread of the virus. Check the hospital or birth center policy regarding hospital visitors during labor.
- Most hospitals only allow one visitor to accompany the patient through the birthing process. This visitor can be a partner, family member or doula.
- If you test positive at the time of birth: It is unlikely that you will be able to have a birthing partner that lives in the same household as you.
- You are encouraged to have a back-up choice in case you or your first-choice tests positive.
- Your newborn will be tested 24 hours after delivery. There is a very small number of babies who test positive for the virus after birth.
- There is no evidence that the virus can be transmitted through the breastmilk, therefore you will still be able to breastfeed your baby. Extra precaution measures are taken with mothers who have COVID-19 such as washing their hands before handling their newborn and wearing a mask.
- You will still be able to share a room with your baby if you choose to do so. Mothers are required to wear a mask the entire time and wash their hands as often as possible.