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COVID-19 and Having a Baby

We understand that you may have many questions about your labour and birth during this time. The following information will provide you with some idea of what to expect when you come to the hospital.

The information is current as of date of publication.

This information does not replace the advice of your care provider - please feel free to ask any your doctor or midwife any additional questions you may have.

We look forward to meeting you and your new baby!

I have to go the hospital, what do I do?

You can enter through the Emergency Room doors or the front entrance (during the daytime). When you enter, staff at the doors will ask you some screening questions and direct you where to go.

Will I be required to wear a mask?

It is not usually necessary for patients and their support people to wear masks. However, when you enter the hospital, staff at the doors will ask you some screening questions. Depending on your answers the staff may provide you with a mask to wear.

Can I bring a support person?

If your health care provider told you to come for a scheduled appointment (ie. Non-Stress Test or NST) you should plan to attend alone.

If you are coming in to have your baby or for emergency care one support person can come with you. Your support person MUST:

      • Have no symptoms of COVID-19
      • Have had no direct contact with a positive COVID-19 case
      • Have not traveled in the past 14 days

If you support person becomes ill or develop symptoms of Covid-19 they will have to leave the Maternity unit and they will be encouraged to seek follow up. If this happens, you can ask another support person to come be with you.

Does my support person have to stay in the hospital the whole time? Can people swap out?

We strongly encourage you to have the same support person for your entire stay. If this is not possible, you will have to speak to the charge nurse or manager to make other arrangements. Your support person can leave and come back if required but will have to go through the screening process each time.

Can I have visitors?

No. The visitor restriction is in place to protect you, your baby, & the health care providers looking after you. It follows the provincial guidelines that encourages people to stay at home.

What happens if I need care/go into labour and I have symptoms of Covid-19, am a contact of a positive case of Covid-19, have traveled outside of Manitoba in the last 14 days and/or am required to self-isolate for any other reason?

We will provide care to you and your baby! If any of the above circumstances apply to you, please advise staff immediately upon arrival to ensure additional precautions for yourself and the health care staff can occur. Additional assessments and testing may also be required. Depending on the circumstances, there may be restrictions for your support person.

Can my support person attend my C-section?

Most of the time, support people are still able to attend C-sections.

At the time of your surgery, a decision will be made about attendance of the support person. It depends on various factors, including what type of anesthetic is required.

What if my baby goes in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)?

If your baby needs to go in the NICU for additional care, you will be able to visit your baby. There is only one parent allowed to visit at one time. If you are discharged and your baby needs to stay in the hospital for additional care both the mom and a support person will be provided with a green armband. This ensures that you are granted access to the facility after completing the screening process.

If you are in Dauphin or Neepawa hospital and your baby needs to be transferred to an NICU the staff will make arrangements for you and answer your questions at that time.

Anything else I need to know?

It is better if you and your support person have limited travel in and out of the hospital.

We would recommend packing snacks and everything you might need to minimize trips in and out. Please bring non-perishables, as the communal fridge cannot be used at this time. Any food brought in must be in a wipeable container and cardboard food containers are not allowed into the hospital at this time.

If you are bringing in your own luggage, bags, and/or car seats these items may be wiped down prior bringing them to the maternity ward.

As information and protocols can change quickly, for the most up to date information and guidelines related to Health Care services in Manitoba during the Covid-19 Pandemic – please refer to https://www.gov.mb.ca/covid19

Midwives/Doulas/Support Person Designation

  • Health-care facilities have implemented a thorough screening process province-wide, to protect patients and staff – all support persons are thoroughly screened.
  • Additional cleaning procedures have been implemented: exam and interview rooms are being disinfected between each client and reception areas are being routinely disinfected. Staff are trained in the use of, and have access to, appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) in order to protect themselves and the patients they care for from infection with COVID-19.
  • While we certainly value and appreciate the work of doulas in our communities, they are not directly employed by a health authority and therefore are not considered staff. Thus, they are not exempt from the current restrictions on support people during these extraordinary times. Having a doula present would count as one support person to the person who is giving birth.
  • Midwives (who are employed by PMH) are doing phone call appointments when possible. For in-person appointments, visitors are being pre-screened upon arrival, and in some cases over the phone in advance as well. Only pregnant people and one support person are being allowed to attend appointments. People in labour are able to bring one support person with them. Upon arrival, all people will be screened. Staff, physicians and midwives are engaging in frequent handwashing, hand sanitizing and practicing physical distancing. Client care areas are being frequently disinfected. When there is a risk for air/droplet transmission, midwives are seeing clients in their homes and using personal protective equipment during the visit.
  • With respect to specific medical risks of COVID-19 for pregnant women (ie: they are known to be more at risk of complications from flu, is it the same for COVID): Public health officials continue to review emerging COVID-19 data and research. As information about COVID-19 is rapidly evolving, evidence related to pregnancy and COVID-19 risk is limited. However, it is always important for pregnant women to take precautions such as practicing proper hand and cough hygiene and following social distancing guidelines to protect themselves from illness. If you are concerned about pregnancy and COVID-19, speak to your health care provider.