As the recommendations and orders for the DFW Metroplex keep changing, we are needing to make almost daily changes in how we are practicing and also make adjustments to our protocols.
This weekend we had a productive meeting with other area birthing centers and midwives about the temporary, but necessary recommendations being made on a national level for midwives and birthing centers to protect the health of our patients and also our staff.
Please know that this is going to be a learning curve for ALL of us… that means your midwives as well! We love nothing more than being able to offer personalized care for each of our families. We are praying that these changes are very temporary. Please have grace with us during this time as we juggle learning new modes of communication and patient care as well as striving to continue bringing you the compassionate, personalized care that we all love about midwifery.
Changes Effective Immediately:
All prenatal and postpartum appointments will begin as a Tele-health meeting with your provider. This will begin at your regularly scheduled appointment time. We suggest being parked in our parking lot and beginning the call at the time of your appointment. At the start time of your appointment, your midwife will text you a link to “join” your video conference. This tele-health meeting will replace our face to face question and answer portion of your appointment. This may range anywhere from 10-30 minutes depending on what we need to discuss and how many questions you may have. Your partner is welcome to be a part of this meeting as well!
After completing your tele-health visit with your midwife, you will then come into the birth center for the objective portion of your visit. The recommendation we have been given is to limit the face to face, hands on time to around 10 minutes for prenatal and 20 minutes for postpartum checkups. We will take your vitals and listen to baby as we always do during prenatal visits. We will be foregoing routine urine checks unless your health indicates differently. We recommend only you, the patient, coming in for the face to face portion of your appointment. If you are able, please leave your children at home or in the car with your partner. If unable, please let your midwife know during your tele-health appointment.
When you are finished in the exam room you will check out with Tiffany as usual to make your next appointment and payment. **Please note you will be receiving instructions from your midwives at least the day before your appointment with how to connect to us for your tele-health visit.
Birth: The current recommendations about changes to be made during labor and delivery consist mostly of limiting people in the room (therefore limiting any potential exposure for patients and staff), monitoring symptoms of illness for everyone in the room and also limiting the time spent during the immediate postpartum period as much as possible. These are the current changes being made for birth and immediate postpartum period at the birth center:
Guests during your birth are limited to your partner and 1 support person. We STRONGLY recommend only having your partner in attendance along with your hired doula. If you do not have a hired labor support and have planned for one other person to be there; please discuss this with your midwife at your next appointment.
Our waiting room is closed until further notice and will not be available for extended family and friends. We are working diligently to keep our facility sanitized and clean for our birthing families during this time. It is also our recommendation that you limit contact for your newborn baby to only members of your immediate family living in the same household.
Please note that if anyone in attendance at your labor/birth displays any symptoms including but not limited to fever, cough, shortness of breath, they will be asked to leave. If you, the laboring mother, presents with a fever or develops a fever during labor we will be required to transfer your care to our local hospital for delivery.
We will not be doing the postpartum herbal bath at this time but can arrange to give you a bag of herbs to take home for a postpartum sitz bath if desired.
Your Responsibilities as a Patient of Grapevine Birthing Center:
It is your responsibility to notify your provider if you are experiencing any viral symptoms before the time of your scheduled appointment. These include fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat etc. Your midwife will decide to possibly postpone your in person visit or refer you for further testing if indicated. You must be fever free for a minimum of 48 hours before an in person visit and fever free WITHOUT the use of Tylenol. Again, always notify your midwife of any illness or symptoms.
It is your responsibility to notify your midwife at the time of L & D admission if you or any family members have been recently sick or displaying symptoms within the last week (even if currently resolved.)
Your Midwives Responsibility to You:
Likewise, your midwives are also monitoring their temperatures regularly and will have another midwife cover for her if she has any concerning symptoms at all.
We will also strive to make these temporary changes as painless as we can for you and your families. Please know, that we CANNOT wait to get back to “business as usual” and be able to love on our clients and babies the way we know best!
Don’t hesitate to contact your midwives with ANY questions or concerns at all!
Suggested Reading on COVID-19 as it pertains to pregnancy and breastfeeding