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COVID-19 protocols and birth

During this stressful time when policies and protocols are changing daily, is anyone seeing a silver lining? 40 years ago it seemed we had stricter visitation rules. Before COVID-19 it was hard to support couples because of all the interruptions of well-meaning family members and visitors. I'm at a hospital where we still allow 1 support person. Our nurses are super but they are going out of their way to step up their game. As a trial, we have moved our Mother & Baby Care discharge books from InJoy to L&D to start bedside teaching while the mother is somewhat fresh and receptive to absorbing info, We are just focusing on 3 things pertaining to the Golden Hour:

  1. Uninterrupted skin-to-skin 
  2. Initiating breastfeeding with a good latch
  3. Hand expression education

Nurses are swamped with details and paperwork after the birth, so starting the education during inductions or while the mother is comfortable with her epidural seems to be a Golden Opportunity. Our books were always in Postpartum so now moving them to L&D our nurses have a wonderful new tool. They also have a captive audience who needs to experience success. Yesterday a mother delivered twins and was actually hand expressing colostrum in the OR. We know these principles and the research, but getting the patient to use their redemption code on admission rather than after birth when they are exhausted has put a new spin on things. 

I am a big fan of support for the new mothers but I have to admit, stressing the Golden Hour and actually timing it, is creating better bonding and better breastfeeding. No visitors on Postpartum is allowing the new mom to get her much needed rest. Babies are sleeping better because, while they adjust to their new world their feeding cues are being met and they are allowed to have uninterrupted sleep. I realize we will go back to opening our doors, but for now, we are seeing some beautiful, precious moments. Is anyone else experiencing these or other changes on the floors? Please post things you are doing that are making a positive difference.

Stay safe,

Cathy Allen

 

Thanks for sharing your story of coping in these dramatic times!  Great idea moving pp teaching in to labor if mom has an epidural.

When you say that no visitors are allowed in PP, does that mean no fathers/partners too or just no additional visitors? 

Support person is allowed as long as they are not exhibiting any symptoms. Some very unique and special bonding is happening. Super Users have been trained to step up checking for a good latch. Starting bedside teaching on admission has had positive results. Postpartum nurses said the new moms were too exhausted to use the wonderful app in the books. Now we created a laminated tool by the bed to explain how to access the 3 points I mentioned. If you want me to attach the tool, I can later today. Some can still choose to not open the app but right now, moms and nurses are making the effort.

Cathy Allen

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