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Labour and Delivery in the time of Coronavirus...How are our hospitals trying to keep us safe!

labour and delivery newborn Mar 14, 2020

How Will COVID-19 affect my birth? 


Many women are asking about what changes may happen at the hospital, and if they are at increased risk while giving birth.  


We have just had an update from our local hospital in Victoria, BC.  If you are from elsewhere please ask your caregiver if there are any changes at your hospital. 


Covid-19 is a virus which is spread by large droplets (sneezing, coughing) but it can also live on surfaces for a few days, which makes it highly transmissible and can spread easily, especially if we do not practice good hand hygiene.   As a result we are trying to limit the spread from person to person as much as possible.  For more info on Coronavirus (COVID-19) in pregnancy and breastfeeding, check out this blog post.  Find more info on COVID-19 and social distancing here. 


Here are the recommendations around pregnancy and delivery at Victoria General Hospital:


Worried about COVID-19 in your pregnancy?

  • If a pregnant woman has symptoms, or been exposed to COVID-19 please call your care provider or 8-1-1 for next steps. 
  • If a pregnant woman arrives to Labour and Delivery with suspected COVID-19, and you are not in labour, or experiencing pregnancy symptoms that need to be assessed, you will be asked to return home to self-quarantine and call your health care provider or 8-1-1 for further directions. 
  • If you have symptoms suspicious for COVID-19 and you have an appointment at the hospital or at your care provider’s office, we ask you to call before coming, and we will help you decide on the next course of action which is appropriate for you. 
  • If you have or are suspected to have COVID-19 AND you have a concern about your pregnancy, please call your care provider (they should all have emergency lines you can get through) prior to coming to hospital.  If we feel you need to come into hospital we can plan for your arrival and decrease the risk of you spreading COVID-19 to others. 


How are we limiting spread of COVID-19

  • To try to limit the risk of spreading or getting COVID-19 the hospital will be limiting pregnant women to having one support person with them.  We ask no other visitors come to the hospital for the duration of your stay.  We know that this should be a joyous time shared with your family and friends, but we also need to do our best to keep you, your care provider, your family and the hospital staff safe, so we can all continue doing what we need to do!!
  • No support people will be allowed in if they have symptoms, so please think of an alternate plan. 
  • We will ask that you join us in using good hand hygiene and frequently washing your hands with soap and water, avoid touching your face, coughing into your sleeve and generally avoid spreading germs as much as possible. 
  • During delivery we will not be using nitrous oxide (laughing gas) as there is a risk in can increase the spread of COVID-19. 
  • If you have COVID-19 we will ask you to wear a mask to decrease the risk of spreading it to your baby.  You will still be encouraged to breastfeed and have skin to skin contact, just ensuring good hand hygiene until your symptoms are gone. 


We recognize that this limited support during labour, delivery and the post partum stay in hospital will be very challenging for some people, but use this quiet time to spend lots of time bonding and having skin to skin with your baby.  


We appreciate your understanding and support for our community in trying to slow the spread of COVID-19. 

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