Virtual checkups, visitor restrictions: What expecting families can expect at LHSC during COVID-19

The LHSC is reiterating its protocols for parents giving birth at its hospitals.
The LHSC is reiterating its protocols for parents giving birth at its hospitals. Global News

The London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) is assuring soon-to-be parents that “their new arrival will be welcomed into the world safely” amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The hospital network says new restrictions, changes, resources and training have been implemented to protect moms and babies. The LHSC has also gathered videos and resources online for parents-to-be to learn more about what to expect amid the pandemic.

READ MORE: Live updates — Coronavirus in Canada

“LHSC has worked hard to ensure that our expectant parents and their babies remain safe from the time they walk through our doors until they’re discharged home,” said interim chair/chief of obstetrics and gynecology, Dr. Tracey Crumley.

“Not only have we continued to provide care throughout this time but we have also practised simulations and scenarios surrounding COVID-19 so that we can be prepared for anything. We know the experience may be different than pre-COVID-19, but our goal is to make things as safe, normal and comfortable as possible.”

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Among the measures are the implementation of virtual prenatal checkups, altering visit schedules to minimize trips to the hospital, forbidding mothers from bringing their partner or support person with them for appointments or triage visits, allowing only one essential visitor during active labour and allowing no essential visitors in the operating suite for women giving birth via C-section.

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Additionally, if a baby needs to be admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), LHSC says partners will not be able to stay with the new mom on the mother-baby care unit after birth, but they can visit and assist with care for the baby in NICU. Midwives are still providing in-hospital care, but doulas are not permitted, the LHSC says.

READ MORE: Pandemic pregnancies prove stressful as COVID-19 questions remain unanswered

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“The birth of a child is an exciting time, and we will do everything we can to help parents navigate the complexities of these new COVID-19 protocols so that their birth experience can be as joyful and positive as possible,” said Crumley.

“This is still the safest place to have your baby.”

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

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To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.