18 Mar Midwifery Care During the Pandemic
The news of the pandemic has riveted me. I follow the recommendations from CDC, WHO, and my professional organizations to determine the best protocols for midwifery care during the pandemic. My concern for my community, my family, my clients and my own self have been heightened. And, as a helper, I want to work out how to help folks who are affected by this global crisis. As a provider with extensive skills, I look for ways to use my skills to benefit the community. Because my risk is elevated for a potentially serious infection, I am taking all of this into consideration to make the best possible choices for everyone with whom I come into contact.
Some reassurance and loving thoughts
This moment in time has elevated everyone’s stress levels. Please keep a few things in mind:
- We are all in this together! Reach out to your friends, family, or me via phone, text, or video call. We all need human connection, and now more than ever.
- Make deep breathing, meditation, prayer, or another centering practice part of your daily routine. This will help you cope with the added stress you may be feeling.
- Remember to find some gratitude for the good things in your life. I honor the health care workers and decision-makers on the frontlines of this crisis, and all of you who are limiting contact with others.
- This, too, shall pass. We will eventually come out the other end of this tunnel, and the light will feel amazing.
- I am here for you! If you need a sounding board or are in need of additional community support, please reach out. I have been gathering community resources and will share them in an additional post.
Care for current midwifery clients during the pandemic
As a health care worker, I am exempted from closing my practice. However, with state mandates banning gatherings of 10 or more people, and social distancing recommendations in place, it seems prudent to make modifications at this time. As this is a rapidly developing situation, these measures will be updated as needed.
Effective immediately, all non-urgent appointments will be offered via phone or video conferencing. Current clients will be contacted via phone, email and the client portal the day before their scheduled visits to arrange video conferencing. Your access to technology will be considered as we develop a plan for your care that is right for you.
Breastfeeding support, prenatal care, and postpartum check-ups can all be reasonably done virtually. If you are a current Arvigo client, I can also check-in with you virtually to review your progress and self-care, though obviously, I will not be able to give you a treatment. I really want anyone who needs postpartum and breastfeeding support to reach out, especially since you may need emotional support during these uncertain times. Please do not suffer at home alone! Contact me (call or text message).
Urgent need appointments
If you have an urgent need, I will see you in my office locations or your home. I ask that anyone who has a fever, cough, or other symptoms of illness discuss that with me prior to any face-to-face contact.
I will perform a quick symptom check of staff, clients, and any support people you bring with you during face-to-face care. Anyone with symptoms of illness will be asked to remove themselves from the care space. I ask that only your partner or primary support person attend your visit with you. The total number of persons in the exam room will not exceed three.
In order to protect my staff, my other clients, my loved ones and I, I will not be able to provide in-home care for anyone who has had sickness in their home during the previous 14 days. Please plan to see me in an office location if this pertains to you, and discuss the situation with me beforehand.
Midwifery care for labor and birth
Management of labor and birth will, of course, be considered urgent care that will be done with face-to-face support. Again, a symptom check will be done for staff and everyone present. Anyone presenting with symptoms that could potentially be COVID-19, or who has had known exposure to a person with potential COVID-19 should avoid the birthing space. If the birthing person is the one presenting with symptoms of possible COVID-19, this will be considered an elevated risk. A laboring client with symptoms of a potential COVID-19 infection will be transferred to the hospital for labor and birth.
While my team and I always practice universal precautions for limiting infection, we will observe enhanced infection control measures during this time and wear additional protective equipment.
Again, if you have had sickness in your home during the prior 14 days, an alternate birthing location will be discussed with you.
One thing that I am absolutely grateful for is the care and support of local midwife colleagues. We are all working together to provide optimal midwifery care during this unprecedented pandemic. We have coverage agreements and alternate birthing sites in the works. Stay tuned.