Expecting a new baby is a joyful time, and the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital is doing everything possible to provide you with the best and safest care during the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
We have made some temporary changes to our typical routines to keep you and your family safe. These practices are in place to help protect our patients and our staff during this pandemic.
Before Coming to the Hospital
Patients coming to the hospital for active labor and birth may have one support person. Your support person must be well (no symptoms of upper respiratory tract infection, fever, cough, muscle aches or nasal congestion). If they do not feel well, they must stay home, and you should identify a healthy support person to be with you in the hospital.
If you are scheduled for an induction or a cesarean birth, you should receive a call 2-3 days prior to schedule a test for COVID-19 a day or two before your scheduled date. If at any time you have any symptoms (fever, cough, muscle aches or nasal congestion) you should contact your OB provider for instructions.
If you are coming to the hospital for care in OB Triage (i.e. assessment of labor, cervical ripening, fetal check, etc.), your support person will be asked to wait until you are in a labor room to join you. This area is considered an outpatient area; thus, no visitors or support persons are allowed.
We recommend you and your support person bring clothes, toiletries, electronic devices and snacks to decrease the need to leave and re-enter the hospital.
Arrival at the Hospital
When you come in to the hospital for labor, we encourage you to have one consistent support person with you. Both you and your support person will be screened for symptoms associated with COVID-19 at the main hospital entrance (75 Francis Street). At this time, you and your support person will also be given a mask that you both must wear throughout the hospitalization. If this mask becomes wet or soiled, we will replace it for you with a new mask. You will then proceed to OB admitting together, and then come to Labor and Delivery.
If you are coming in for a scheduled delivery (induction of labor or cesarean delivery) your support person may come directly in with you and will be screened on entering the hospital. In some cases, such as for assessment of labor, your support person may be asked to wait to enter the hospital until it has been determined that you are in labor. When you are admitted to a room on labor and delivery, your support person will be able to join you.
If you have any symptoms or are known to have COVID-19, special arrangements will made for your arrival to the hospital, admission to Labor and Delivery, and throughout your care experience to help protect you, your baby, and our staff during this pandemic.
Please bring your car seat with you when you come in to have your baby, as well as any other items you would like for yourself or your baby while in the hospital as we discourage your support person from leaving the hospital once you arrive at the hospital.
While flower deliveries are now allowed during the hospitalization, we encourage family and friends to have any special deliveries made to your home upon discharge
We ask that your support person stay in your patient room for the duration of your stay on Labor & Delivery and post-partum. The nursing staff will gladly bring you water, juice, crackers, etc. from the nourishment center. You and your support person should wear your masks any time another person/provider is in your room. You do not need to wear them when it is just you and your baby.
Your support person will be allowed to order a guest meal tray at a cost of $10, or they may purchase food at any of the hospital vendors (cafeteria, Au Bon Pain or Pat’s Place), but are asked to bring food back to your room to eat. You are encouraged to bring any snacks or food you would like to have during your stay. Food delivery to the hospital is not permitted at this time.
If your support person needs to leave the hospital, such as for work, they will be allowed to re-enter, but will be re-screened in the lobby area. We ask that you keep exits and entrances to a minimum. At this time, no siblings or additional visitors will be allowed at the hospital.
Please keep your baby in the room with you as much as possible. We are able to provide most routine newborn care in your room. Circumcision is done in a special area of the nursery away from other babies.
Good practice is to always wash your hands for 20 seconds, and this is even more critical during this time. You should always wash your hands before caring for your new baby.
Please note that if you or your support person shows symptoms of COVID-19 during your stay, you can expect to be tested for the virus for your safety and the safety of others, including your care team.
You will notice that all staff, patients, and visitors in the hospital are now wearing masks. This is being done to help decrease community spread of the virus.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to your OB care provider if you have any questions or concerns. Visit the Brigham Health Hub blog for answers to common questions about Pregnancy and COVID-19.
We look forward to providing a supportive and safe environment for you and your baby.