Childbirth and COVID-19: Keeping Expecting Mothers and Newborns Safe

May 8, 2020

By: Isabelle Garibaldi, DNP, RN – Chief Nursing Officer

Pregnancy always comes with its share of anxiety and fear, but the COVID-19 pandemic has added a new layer of concern for expecting families. If you will be delivering a baby during the pandemic, you likely have many questions about how delivery in the hospital may be different right now and how you can keep yourself and your baby healthy.

Sumner Regional Medical Center has always taken great pride in caring for expectant mothers by making sure that our community has access to great OB care. This dedication to Middle Tennessee’s growing families has continued throughout the pandemic and will go on long after this health crisis has passed.

We are committed to making sure that all moms and babies have the safest birthing experience possible, and we are taking every necessary precaution to protect our families during labor and delivery from exposure to COVID-19 and reducing the risk of infection to new mothers and their babies. Our extra precautions mean that some aspects of delivery will be as expected, but some may be a little different. The two main changes most families will experience are visitor restrictions and limited entry points to the hospital. 

As part of our COVID-19 preparedness efforts, we have moved to a zero-visitor protocol hospital-wide. However, laboring and postpartum mothers are an exception to this rule. These women may have one healthy adult with them for their delivery and the duration of their hospital stay. This means that every woman will be able to have a support person with them for as long as they are in the hospital, but visits with the new baby and siblings and other loved ones will have to wait until mom and baby leave the hospital. 

Our COVID-19 preparedness efforts also have limited entry to the hospital, closing some of our typical entrances. This means that expecting mothers and their support person should plan to access the facility through the main lobby entrance during normal hours. In the event of an overnight need, expecting mothers and their support person can enter through the emergency department.

Additional measures Sumner Regional is taking to support and ensure the safety of our expecting mothers and newborns include:

  • All suspected and confirmed COVID-19 patients are isolated in a negative pressure unit, separated from the rest of the hospital, including the labor and delivery, postpartum and nursey areas.
  • Screening of all patients/staff/visitors entering the hospital for COVID-19 symptoms. 
  • Your temperature will be taken by our hospital personnel when you arrive at the main entrance.  You will also be asked a series of questions related to your general health during this screening process.
  • PPE is available for laboring and postpartum mothers.
  • Early discharges (24 hours vaginal and 48 hours cesarean), as long as mom and baby are doing well and per physician order.

These measures have been implemented with great care, and we will continue to update them with the health and safety of our expecting mothers and families in mind.

In a time of uncertainty, the one thing all of our expecting families can be sure of is that our experienced OB staff members stand ready to help you on your journey to bring new life into the world. We are here to support you and keep you safe – today and every day the future holds. 

You can find more information about COVID-19 and how Sumner Regional is responding here or by contacting your care provider. If you have any questions about your upcoming birth experience at Sumner Regional, please feel free to call our women’s services director at 615-328-4293.