As we all continue to work through all the changes made during the pandemic, we wanted to send along a little update about our policies and procedures. Please know that we are constantly looking at research and guidance from state and local officials to guide our decisions.
This week we have decided that we would like to welcome back two support people of the birthing family’s choosing back into the center. We were previously limiting support people to a partner and a doula, we are now happy with any two support people desired by the birthing person. Please remember that we will continue to screen support people with symptom questions and temperatures on arrival. We ask that all support people remain masked at the center during labor and birth and stay in the birth room for their time in the center to reduce exposure to staff and other families. We strongly believe in the current saying of “My mask protects you and your mask protects me!” All of us together can keep our staff healthy and available to keep families birthing at the center.
We have also started using nitrous again for labor and birth. We have developed cleaning protocols to keep the machine safe based on our distributor’s guidance. We know this is an option for labor-management that many people were excited to use, so we are happy to have it back in use.
Here are the continued policy changes we would like to remind you of:
- If you, our client, have symptoms or are exposed to someone who is ill please NOTIFY OUR OFFICE at 412-321-6880 so that we can reschedule your appointment and direct you to the next steps. Please be aware when you call, if we are unable to answer please leave a message and we will call you back as soon as possible.
- When you call in labor, we will be asking some screening questions to see if you have symptoms of coronavirus or other flu-like illnesses (body aches, a cough, a sore throat, and/or fever).
- No person under the age of 18 is currently allowed in the building unless getting care yourself and you are under the age of 18.
- If you or anyone in your household has a fever or symptoms consistent with these types of viruses, we do not feel it is appropriate to send you and your baby home on early discharge, therefore, your care will be directed to the hospital where you may be tested and followed closely.
- No postpartum visitors will be allowed in the center, except for your labor support people.
- We request that if at all possible you come to your in-center office visits alone. We understand how valuable these visits are for partner involvement and we will happily video them in if desired. Please remember no children less than 18 years old are currently able to come with you to visits.
- During visits, in-labor, and at your in-person checkup after birth, you will notice all of our staff will be wearing masks. In addition, we will ask that you wear a mask during your time in the center for visits and times during labor when the staff and your family interact. When you are pushing your baby out and for the first hour after the birth, you can remove your mask and the staff will take additional precautions to keep you safe. We know this is not ideal for everyone, but we appreciate your understanding.
- The birth center staff made the decision as of March 16th to not have our midwives go into the hospital for birth care. We want our midwives to have as little exposure as possible to illness to be healthy to care for you and your family at TMC. Our colleagues at our referral hospitals have been gracious to be accepting of our clients in the need for a transfer.
- We will continue to have the initial postpartum nurse visits done between 24-72 hours at TMC instead of in your home. We ask that you follow CDC guidelines for social distancing, limiting visitors, and only going out when necessary after the baby is born.
- We strongly encourage you to facetime/video chat anyone who would have normally visited you after the birth of your baby.
- We suspended water birth at the current time due to the risk of fecal transmission of Covid-19. You may still labor in the tub, just not birth into the water.
- All of our scheduled classes are being held remotely via an online meeting platform.
We plan to continue to utilize telehealth visits for the majority of our visits to help with social distancing and as we evaluate the current course of the virus. Please be in touch with us with any questions or concerns.
All the best,
TMC Providers, Nurses, and Staff