Dear Baby + Company family,
You remember our Guidelight, “Sometimes things are hard, but we can do hard things?” Well, no one thought we’d need to Guidelight ourselves through a pandemic! But here we are, and we can get through this together (but at a safe distance).
We are writing to share some updates and encouragement with you in this wild time that is the Coronavirus Pandemic of 2020. We hope you are safe and nourished in mind and body! Y’all know we are into evidence-based care, and that is no different in this time of stress. In fact, our team is continuously assessing the research and reports coming out of this coronavirus experience, and we are doing our best to protect you and our team. Each day our team is filled with gratitude for you, our precious clients. Thank you for trusting us with your care, and for continuing to trust us as we adapt to these trying times together.
Here are our latest updates. You’ll also find these outlined on our COVID-19 page.
- Prenatal Visits + Labs: For the time being, most of our prenatal visits are being done through telehealth. Any labs, blood pressure checks, or fetal heart tones can be done in our new parking garage lab setup. In-person appointments in the birth center are now limited to 10 minutes. They are taking place only in exam rooms to limit exposure to sickness in the center for our laboring moms and for our staff.
- Nitrous Oxide: At this time, we need to stop offering Nitrous Oxide as a pain/anxiety management option for labor. There are case reports that indicate the virus could be aerosolized during the use of nitrous. Out of an abundance of caution and based on recommendations from several respected medical institutions both in the U.S. and in Europe, we have determined we need to refrain from use for now.
- Support in Labor: For now, we need to adjust our support people policy to only ONE support person plus ONE doula, if you have hired a doula. That first support person is typically a partner or main support person. The second support person is available to you only if you have a paid professional doula. If you do not have a doula, you may only have ONE support person. This is hard to accept, we know. It is incredibly hard for our team to limit support, as excellent support is one of the pillars of our care model. But based on the decisions of other medical institutions, and in an effort to minimize exposure and spread of illness for our laboring families and for our dedicated staff, it is an adjustment we must make for right now.
- Postpartum home visits: In normal life, we try to do home visits for that first 24-48 hour postpartum visit if you live within 30 minutes of the birth center, and we have available team members. Right now, we are ceasing all home visits, and all postpartum visits will take place in the center only. We’ll look forward to seeing you in your homes once again when it is safe for us to do so.
Like everyone’s favorite, Mr. Rogers said, in hard times, look for the helpers. We are your helpers. We are giving you our very best all day every day, particularly right now, in a time of trial. And we will continue to once this illness is better understood and more controlled, and we can all be together in person again. Our Baby+Co team is working hard to create opportunities for connection, starting with new virtual support groups 3-5 days a week next week!
- on taking care of yourself while isolated;
- planning for postpartum support and recovery while “shelter in place” restrictions are being implemented across the country;
- and some lighthearted and fun activities you can do with your older toddlers and kiddos while we’re all home.
We love all of you and are holding you in our hearts while we all walk through our first-ever pandemic. We don’t want to put limits on your care, but we also want to keep the birth center safe and virus-free. Our biggest desire is to return to hugging when we greet you, long face-to-face visits, and a busy birth center full of families. We send you lovingkindness and wish you good health and peace in times of distress.
Take care, and reach out to us with questions and concerns!
Margaret Buxton, CNM, DNP, is the Clinical Director of Baby+Company.
She is a passionate advocate of the birth center model of care—which puts women and their families first. This evidence-based, high-value approach to maternity care extends the range of options available for clients and provides a caring environment conducive to a safe, healthy birth. She is married and the mother of four children, Lila, Ava, Mack, and Bodie.