Our job, first and foremost, is to keep you and your baby as safe and healthy as possible.
The research at this time shows that COVID affects clotting of the blood, and as such, can create problems with your placenta were you to become infected during pregnancy. We are seeing a worldwide increase in miscarriages and stillbirths due to this virus. We also now know that COVID can cause premature birth.
Further, as one of very few homebirth providers in the region, if the midwife became infected or had to quarantine due to exposure, it would compromise all of our clients’ ability to have a homebirth.
With that responsibility in mind, we have established the following COVID-19 practices and protocols. These policies not only protect you, but also keep the midwife from becoming sick or a vector of transmission, passing the virus from one client to the next.
We have moved to a telehealth appointment system for consultations, prenatals, and some postpartum follow-ups. The appointments will still be 60 minutes in length, but certain aspects, like feeling for baby’s position, won’t be possible at every appointment. You will be asked to purchase or borrow a fetal doppler, an automatic blood pressure cuff, and urinalysis strips. Delmar will teach you how to use these tools to assess the wellbeing of you and your baby at every appointment.
If you or the midwife have any concern or difficulty during any telemed appointment that requires hands-on assessment, you will be asked to drive up to our home office for an in-person assessment.
During all face-to-face appointments (drive-up or in-home at 36 weeks and postpartum), all adults and children over the age of 6 must wear a mask. The midwife will also be masked and follow strict handwashing/hand sanitizer and equipment sanitizing protocols.
During the birth, we are asking families to limit their guests to two additional people, plus an adult to mind any siblings. So that’s you, your partner, two guests (including a doula), and a babysitter (if needed). All adults, except for the laboring client, and children over the age of 6 must wear masks while in the same room as our staff. All staff members will also be masked while in the same room with you, your family, or guests. We will follow strict handwashing/hand sanitizer and equipment sanitizing protocols.
All of our staff are being asked to limit potential exposures by practicing social distance guidelines, avoiding gatherings of any kind, wearing a mask whenever they leave home, and practice excellent hand hygiene. We ask our clients and their families to do the same.
Clients and/or birth guests who are showing COVID symptoms will be immediately referred to the hospital. Clients who are COVID positive at any time in pregnancy are high risk, no longer a candidate for homebirth, and will be transferred to an OB for the higher level of care needed.
When the number of cases in Allegheny and neighboring counties begin to slow down, we will begin hybrid visits, where we will see clients via telemed and then ask you to drive-up for an in-person assessment on weeks 20, 28, and 40. We will also visit you at home during week 36.
These protocols, policies, and procedures will be reviewed weekly, as evidence becomes available and the local infection rates change. Please ask the midwife for the most up-to-date information.