DES MOINES, Iowa — Expecting mothers are feeling the affects of COVID-19 as hospitals are further restrict guests.
"I am 38 weeks," says Ashley Danielson, who is expecting her first child. "We really want our baby to meet our family, but it's probably going to be over Skype or FaceTime or whichever works best."
With new restrictions on who can enter a hospital, Ashley's husband Jeff is the only one that can be in the delivery room with her.
"I don't know if mother should be nervous, but they certainly need to be prepared," explains Dr. Neil Mandsager with MercyOne Des Moines Medical Center. "A patient that is under investigation of symptoms of Covid-19, or has an infection will be managed differently."
"But, everyone will be managed as we normally would."
If you are experiencing a cough, fever, or shortness of breath, doctors ask that you call ahead so they can be prepared to take the right precautions.
Effective Wednesday, visitors at UnityPoint Health Des Moines, MercyOne Des Moines Medical Center or Broadlawns Medical Center are not allowed unless a visitor is a designated caregiver and the patient falls into one of the categories:
- ED/Outpatient Areas/Clinics: One visitor
- All other areas: One visitor
Only allowed under the following circumstances:
- Patient is imminently dying
- Patient is a minor under age 18
- Patient is suffering from confusion or delirium
- In Maternity Services (Labor & Delivery, Postpartum) one designated caregiver/support person. Doulas and outside birth coaches will not be permitted.
- Patient having surgery: One visitor only through pre-surgical area, waiting rooms and through the duration of the patient's surgery and post-op course until discharged home
All designed caregivers must be free of any signs of illness, according to the Polk County Health Department.
Regarding designated caregivers:
- Siblings under the age of 16 are not allowed
- They should always remain in patient room as appropriate
- Should limit movement within the facility and avoid common areas
- Must be free from illness such as (fever, sore throat, cough, diarrhea, vomiting or runny nose)
"We understand these visitor restrictions may be difficult for you," PCHD said in a release. "While we are committed to providing a family-centered care environment, right now restricting visitors is in the best interest of our patients and staff."