June 3, 2020
Having a baby is exciting, but it can also be stressful, especially during a global pandemic. Is it safe to deliver a baby in the hospital? Will I or my baby become infected with COVID-19? Will there be enough hospital staff on hand to care for us? Can my partner be there for the birth? These are just some of the questions expectant mothers are asking in 2020.
At both Elliot Health System and Southern New Hampshire Health (which together make up SolutionHealth), new moms can rest assured everything is being done to protect them and their babies during these unsettling times.
“What we’re seeing and what we know worldwide is that pregnant women are not at a higher risk of having more complications from COVID-19 than non-pregnant women of the same age,” Dr. Karen Maynard, Women’s Care of Nashua, Southern New Hampshire Health, explains. Across both health systems, if a patient is symptomatic and a provider feels testing is appropriate, they will order a COVID-19 test.
Labor and Delivery was one of the first units across SolutionHealth to shut down to any extraneous visitors in order to prevent any unnecessary exposure to patients and staff. At both Elliot Health System and Southern New Hampshire Health, each patient is allowed one support person.
After a mother gives birth, her baby will stay with her the entire time. If a mother is positive for COVID-19, the health care team, in collaboration with the mother and her support person, will work together to follow national, state, and local recommendations to determine the best course of care for their stay.
Due to the ongoing pandemic, some mothers are choosing to leave the hospital sooner after giving birth. At both Elliot Health System and Southern New Hampshire Health, this decision is being made in collaboration with the mother’s obstetrician and the baby’s pediatrician to ensure both are healthy, ready, and safe to leave the hospital.
“We are here, and we are safe. Our staff is ready to care for you and your baby 24/7. We pride ourselves on high quality, safe, and compassionate care and look forward to caring for you and your baby when the time comes,” Meaghan Smith, MSN, RN, Director of Pediatrics and Women’s and Children’s Services, at EHS, says.
Dr. Maynard agrees and says, “For the patients coming in to have a baby, I think it’s a very safe place to be. The overall experience is different now because you can’t have multiple support people present for delivery or have your family and friends come to visit, but I think it’s allowing new families to get some rest.”