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COVID-19

If you are concerned and have questions about COVID-19 and how this may affect your pregnancy and care, you are not alone.  If you have specific questions regarding COVID-19 OR IF YOU OR YOUR BABY HAVE ANY SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19 PLEASE CALL the Niagara Region Public Health info line at 905-688-8248 ext 7330.  Use the links below for further information on the virus and its impact on pregnancy and the newborn.

ANSWERING QUESTIONS ABOUT COVID-19:  Due to the OVERWHELMING number of emails and phone calls regarding COVID-19, our administrators will be directing you to our website and the sites below if you email or call the office with inquiries.  We are providing the information below to highlight changes we are making to minimize the risk of COVID-19 exposure to clients, our support staff, our midwives, and the greater community.  There is no other information that the midwives or administrators will be providing other than the information found here.  We will be updating the site as any new information becomes available.

INFECTION PREVENTION:  We already use strong infection control practices and will continue to do so during this COVID-19 pandemic.  We encourage you to do your part and adhere to social distancing and strong hand washing techniques.  Furthermore, we cannot stress the importance of postpartum women not accepting visitors after the baby is born.  We understand the desire to introduce your new baby to your friends and family, but you are putting yourself, you baby and your community at risk when you do so.  PLEASE CONTINUE SOCIAL DISTANCING AFTER THE BIRTH.

PRENATAL VISTS WITH THE MIDWIVES:  For the time being, we will be adopting the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommendations for how many visits a pregnant woman needs during her pregnancy, and at what time interval. For all of our healthy, low-risk clients without any indications for closer monitoring, we will plan:

  • First trimester: one visit at 10-12 weeks
  • Second trimester: one visit at 18- 20 weeks and one visit at 24-26 weeks
  • Third trimester: visits at 30, 34, 36, 38 and 40 weeks

If your midwives feel you need closer monitoring than the above schedule, we will inform you about your individualized care plan.  You may receive a call either from an administrator or midwife  to adjust your appointment interval to follow the WHO guidelines.

PLEASE NOTE THAT THE WAY IN WHICH VISITS ARE CONDUCTED HAS CHANGED (starting April 6th) AND WILL BE STRUCTURED IN THE FOLLOWING WAY:

2-part visits:  1. A virtual component to discuss important topics & answer any questions and 2.  an in-person physical assessment. These parts will be on two separate days 1-2 days apart.  For example you may be scheduled for a virtual appointment Tuesday at 1 pm, and a physical assessment at the clinic Wednesday at 11 am. Please note primary care midwives (Sam, Heidi, or Piera) may do both parts in one day.

Part 1 – virtual appointments: You will need a computer or cell phone with internet access. The majority of our midwives will be using a platform called doxy (which feels a lot like FaceTime). Some may call on the phone instead. Your midwife will communicate with you about this. Before your appointment time, login in and wait for your midwife to add you to the appointment.  If you would like to test it out prior to your appointment you can do so at any time. If you do not have adequate internet access & would prefer a phone call please let us know and we can arrange that.  Virtual appointments will be about 20 minutes in length.

Part 2 – in-person appointments:  The midwife will complete your assessment in 10 minutes and she will be  wearing personal protective equipment (PPE). She will do palpations, BP checks, FHR checks, blood draws and baby weight checks.  She will not be doing discussions about your care.

WHEN YOU ARRIVE FOR YOUR APPOINTMENT: The waiting room is closed and so we ask that when you arrive for your appointment, you call the office at 905-684-6377 to inform our administrator of your arrival. If your midwife is ready, Rachel or Marcie will direct you to come inside and directly upstairs. If the midwife needs a few more minutes, please wait for a call back to enter the clinic. Again, please do not come to clinic if you are sick.  Please wash your hands upon arrival, followed by using hand sanitizer) and use proper cough etiquette (into your elbow).

SAFETY MEASURES FOR VISITS:  We ask the following in regards to safety during clinic appointments:

  • PLEASE DO NOT COME TO THE CLINIC IF YOU ARE ILL OR ARE SELF-ISOLATING DUE TO A HISTORY OF TRAVEL. Call the clinic before coming if you are not sure if you should come.
  • Please wash your hands and use hand sanitizer upon arrival.
  • Please plan to attend your appointments alone if you are currently pregnant, and only with your baby if you are postpartum. Support people may FaceTime or call you to be included in discussions.
  • If your care has been transferred to an obstetrician, your supportive care visits will occur by phone rather than in-person clinic visits.

ULTRASOUNDS:  All community ultrasound labs are closed until April 6th so any ultrasound appointments you have during that time-frame are cancelled.  The Niagara Health hospital ultrasound departments will be doing their best to absorb those ultrasounds but will be booking based on urgency.  Please call the office to let us know if your community ultrasound has been cancelled and we will try our best to arrange an ultrasound at the hospital.

POSTPARTUM VISITS:  On-call midwives will be reaching out by phone as usual to plan for postpartum home visits. Please answer this phone call so we can screen if it is safe to do a home visit. When your midwife arrives, we expect you have protected your home environment from unnecessary viral exposure by minimizing all visitors.

PLACE OF BIRTH:  We will continue to offer homebirth, and we encourage it as a safe option during this pandemic for healthy, low-risk women but are asking that no more than 2 support people attend the birth.  If you are planning a hospital birth, please note the number of support people/visitors to the hospital has been limited to one support person per client, and this person must remain constant throughout the delivery and postpartum hospital stay – you cannot change / switch support people.  Grandparents and siblings are not permitted to visit at this time. We strongly encourage early discharge from the hospital if you and your baby meet the criteria to safely do so (at 3-4 hours after the birth).

NEWBORN HEARING TESTS:  The Infant Hearing Program in Niagara has stopped doing hearing screening until April 6th.  Feel free to call them if you have any questions but just note that any testing will not be performed until after April 6th.  Their number is (905) 688-3550.

COVID-19 IN PREGNANCY AND THE NEWBORN:  Please see the CDC links below for information on COVID-19 in pregnancy and in children.

Center for Disease Control (CDC)

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/pregnant-women-faq.html

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/children-faq.html

OTHER LINKS REGARDING COVID-19

Niagara Public Health

https://www.niagararegion.ca/health/covid-19/default.aspx?topic=1

Center for Disease Control (CDC)

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

World Health Organization

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public

https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-coronaviruses

Association of Ontario Midwives

https://www.ontariomidwives.ca/infectious-diseases