NORTHWEST ARKANSAS (KNWA/KFTA) — Having a baby has become a very different experience during the coronavirus crisis.
Loved ones are not waiting in the hospital lobby with flowers to meet the newborns at this time. Many hospitals are limiting the number of visitors to reduce the chances of spreading the coronavirus.
Coming in at 8lbs 14 ounces, Parker David Passmore was born May 20th at Washington Regional in Fayetteville.
“Everyone was wearing a mask everywhere. I had to push with a mask on my face so that was crazy I didn’t imagine doing that,” said Natalie Passmore a new mom.
She was only allowed one visitor during her delivery and stay at the hospital and she chose her husband.
“It needs to be the same visitor the entire time that the patient is in the hospital. the visitor is allowed to leave the hospital once a day,” said OB/GYN Mary Pat Hardman with Washington Regional.
Hardman said that for a typical vaginal birth the stay is about 48 hours and up to 72 hours for c-sections. They provide meals throughout the day to make the stay is easier for visitors.
At Mercy hospital, new moms can only have one support person the entire time, who is screened and registered. If that person leaves the hospital at any point they won’t be able to return.
Chief Administrator Juli McWhorter at Willow Creek’s Women’s hospital with Northwest Health said only a certified doula can be added as a second visitor.
“That is an important aspect of the health care team and they can also been seen as that emotional support,” said McWhorter.
Testing for the virus before delivery is also part of the safety measures.
“I had to have a COVID test Monday prior to being induced on Wednesday because it’s a procedure and they are requiring everyone to be tested before a procedure.
Even though people couldn’t visit Passmore, she found other ways to introduce everyone to Parker.
“We actually facetime many of our friends and family in the hospital so instead of them coming to the hospital and getting to see him in person we just did it virtually.”
“They do appreciate the special bond they get to have that first day or two when it is just them and their spouse or their significant other and they get to just bond with that baby,” said McWhorter.
In all cases, if the baby needs to be taken to the NICU both parents are allowed to visit.