Dear our new moms,
You have a baby on the way, and that is wonderful – congratulations on this exciting time in your life. We know you probably have concerns given the situation with COVID-19. That is completely understandable, and we are here to help.
Firstly, please know that our Childbirth Program is in a separate wing, and – like the rest of our hospital – is cleaned thoroughly, and often.
The safety of our new mothers and their babies is an important priority for our Childbirth Program. We want to ensure the new family is safe and healthy, and that our staff who care for them are safe as well.
To ensure everyone’s safety, we have put the following policies in place. However, as the situation evolves, these restrictions may change. Please check back regularly and prior to coming into the hospital.
Visiting Policy in Childbirth Triage and the Birth Unit
- All patients, support people and visitors will be required to wear a medical mask for the duration of their visit. You will be provided with medical masks upon entry into the hospital.
- If you are coming into the hospital for an appointment or to be assessed, only your essential care partner can come in with you.
- Essential care partners are not required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 since they are essential. However, it is highly recommended that they are vaccinated for their safety and the safety of others. Your essential care partners can not be swapped out with someone else.
- Entrance to the hospital has been restricted to two entrances, the Emergency Department and the Main Entrance. All patients and their designated essential care partner will be screened for symptoms of COVID-19 at the entrances. The essential care partner and support person must be screened negative (have no symptoms) to be permitted entrance.
- If you must be admitted after being assessed, you can be accompanied by your essential care partner. You are permitted one other designated support person during labour (e.g. a doula or second support person). The second support person MUST be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as they are considered a visitor and not essential. Your second support person cannot be exchanged with another person. The nurses and physicians will let you know when you can call your second support person to come in. Your essential care partner and second support person must be screened negative, wear a medical mask at all times, and is encouraged to stay in the room with you as much as possible. Only your essential care provider is permitted if you are scheduled for an elective Caesarean Section.
- An essential care partner or designated support person who is displaying any symptoms of illness related to COVID-19 will not be permitted into the hospital or may be asked to leave if symptoms start while here.
- A second support person or visitor that has returned from international travel within the two weeks prior to your admission to the hospital will not be permitted.
- The essential care partner is permitted to leave and return once per day e.g. going home to shower or out to eat. However, they are encouraged to stay in the room with you as much as possible.
- Meal trays are provided only for patients. Your support person(s) should bring food, snacks, clothes, etc. that are needed for the duration of your stay to minimize traffic throughout the hospital. Tim Hortons and the cafeteria are still available as food options but have restricted hours.
- As a patient, if you have symptoms of COVID-19 you will be required to wear a mask, a blue armband will be put on you and you will be isolated in a private room. If isolation is required, you are permitted one essential care partner only. Your support person will be isolated with you, be required to wear the appropriate protective equipment, and must be prepared to stay in the delivery room with you. For patients that require isolation, meal trays will be provided for your essential care partner as well.
Visiting Policy on the Mother Baby Unit (Post Partum)
- On the Mother Baby Unit, mothers and babies who are well will be permitted only one essential care partner who will stay with you for most of the time. The essential care partner is permitted to leave and return once per day e.g. going home to shower or out to eat. Again, your essential care partner must remain in the room with you as much as possible. Please ensure your care partner has enough food, snacks, clothes, etc. for the duration of your stay. Tim Hortons and the cafeteria are still available as food options but have restricted hours. You can expect to stay between 36 to 72 hours after delivery. In some extenuating circumstances, the care partner may be exchanged with the previously designated second support person in the event that the essential care partner needs to leave for an extended period of time e.g. going home for the night to attend to other children, etc. Please discuss this with your nurse.
- Please plan to have your family and friends visit after you and your baby are at home. While in hospital, in addition to your essential care partner, your designated second support person is allowed to visit between the hours of 2pm and 8pm daily. No other visitors and no children are allowed at this time. Be mindful that in a shared room, other patients may have essential care partners and a visiting second support person as well. It is essential that a safe physical distance is maintained. Your designated second support person will be screened for symptoms of COVID-19 at the entrances. They must be screened negative (have no symptoms), and they must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to be permitted entrance. A visitor that has returned from international travel within the two weeks prior to your admission to the hospital will not be permitted.
- A baby of a presumed or confirmed positive COVID mother will stay in the room with the mother, if both the baby and mom are well. Mom must wear a medical mask and must perform hand hygiene when feeding or handling baby. Your baby must remain at a physical distance of 2 meters while not breastfeeding and you must have a healthy support person present to help care for your baby for the duration of the stay. Only the essential care partner is permitted.
- For babies requiring a follow-up appointment in our clinics (Jaundice or Breastfeeding), two (2) parent(s)/caregiver(s) may accompany the baby. If the baby requires admission for treatment, both parent(s)/caregiver(s) are permitted to stay with baby.
Visiting Policy in Special Care Nursery (SCN)
- Visiting in the SCN is limited to parents of baby only (or the two people assigned to wear baby bracelets).
- For parents coming in from home and baby still admitted to SCN, only the parents or care partners with baby bracelets are allowed to visit. There are no time restrictions for how long the parent(s)/care partners can stay once here. Please be mindful of appropriate physical distancing from other parents that are visiting at the same time.
- All care partners must screen negative for COVID-19 symptoms, wear a medical mask at all times, and perform routine hand hygiene. To keep our babies safe and well, parents that fail the COVID screening process will not be permitted to visit the SCN.
- Babies requiring admission to the Special Care Nursery, and whose mother is presumed or confirmed positive, will be isolated. Visiting restrictions for the isolated baby may vary. Please check with your health care team.
We got this. Rest assured, you and your baby remain our priority.
Let’s get your baby into this world – it needs a little more joy and happiness right now.
The Childbirth Program & QCH
March 4, 2022