TWIN FALLS — St. Luke's has been working their hardest to keep all patients safe by following the CDC guidelines in response to COVID-19. Since people are unsure how long the pandemic will last, people may wonder what precautions are in place for women going through pregnancy.
One of the immediate responses to ensure the safety of staff and others, the hospital has put in place a policy where no visitors are allowed. For those who are giving birth, they will be allowed one person who can be there to support them. Those who are there in support are encouraged to follow safety guidelines as well.
Not only does it help the women giving birth, but it also helps the nursing staff who are in the delivery room. It will allow the woman who is giving birth to be more comfortable and relaxed throughout the process. Once the child is delivered, the baby will be monitored by staff carefully to ensure all is well.
Since COVID-19 is very new and not much is known about it in connection with pregnancy, testing would only occur if the mother has COVID or COVID like symptoms. However, if the mother is healthy, the hospital will follow the standard protocol for taking care of the child.
Some may wonder if there is anything in place that would limit contact with the mother and child after giving birth to keep the child safe. While policies are evolving, parents will be allowed to be there for the child right after delivery. They will also have the option to keep them in the nursery if they choose.
Understandably, there may be people who feel reluctant or discouraged to go to the hospital during such a trying time. For those who are thinking about potentially giving birth at home, Dr. Clarence Blea, who specializes in Maternal-Fetal Medicine, advises against doing so.
"You may not be the best candidate for a delivery at home birth... it may result in transfer, which put our front liners may be at additional risk.”
Those who are contemplating the thought of not going to the hospital, it is encouraged to speak with your local healthcare provider or physician.
Sanitation and hygiene is an essential factor to St. Luke's to keep patients safe. All rooms are cleaned regularly and thoroughly to kill anything that may be on surfaces.
The hospital also has a separate ward for COVID patients, which is far from those giving birth. However, the hospital wants it known that due to the low amount of COVID cases in Twin Falls, it is operating quite normally.
Dr. Blea stated, "We are a safe place to continue to deliver a baby, and we're doing everything within our best interests to provide a safe environment for the entire community."