Hospitals take measures to protect mothers and babies during COVID-19 pandemic

Michigan

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)– Some expecting mothers and their families have considered changing their birth plans as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Doctors at Sparrow Hospital say giving birth in a hospital is the safest option, because they are more prepared to handle any complications during birth or post-partum, such as hemorrhaging and high blood pressure.

“If moms do choose to plan their home birth and for whatever reason it’s unsuccessful or complicated,” Sparrow OB-GYN Jennifer Hoffman says, “we’re still here 24/7 and are happy to take care of anybody who comes.”

Sparrow officials have a designated area within their Mother Baby unit for COVID-19 positive patients. The hospital uses other measures including separation of the mother and baby to keep those patients separated and reduce the risk of infection.

“If a mom is suspected to be COVID-positive or is COVID-positive at this point,” says pediatrician Stephanie Grondahl, “we are trying to separate babies and moms until we know that status so we can keep the babies as safe as possible.”

“We have iPads available for mom and baby so mom and baby can FaceTime,” pediatrician Samantha Yamil adds. “We have nurses that are isolated with the babies to take care of them.”

Yamil says mothers who test positive for COVID-19 are able to breastfeed. The antibodies formed in the breast milk, she adds, will help the baby’s immune system when it is reunited with the mother.

Doctors say the most important thing for expecting mothers and their families can do is practice social distancing and limit contact with people outside of their immediate families to lower the chances of getting the virus before birth.

6 News reporter Ashley Graham will have a full report on 6 News at 5.

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