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, you can bring one support person only.
- Entrance to the hospital has been restricted to two entrances, the Emergency Department and the Main Entrance. All patients and their designated support person(s) will be screened for symptoms of COVID-19 at the entrances. The support person(s) must be screened negative (have no symptoms) to be permitted entrance.
- If you must be admitted after being assessed, you can have up to two designated support people with you during labour (e.g. your partner and a doula or second support person). Your support person(s) cannot be exchanged with another person. Only one support person is permitted for patients scheduled for an elective Caesarean Section. The nurses and physicians will let you know when you can call your second support person to come in. Your support person(s) must be screened negative, wear a medical mask and is encouraged to stay in the room with you as much as possible. The care partner is permitted to leave and return once per day e.g. going home to shower or out to eat. A care partner or support person(s) who is displaying any symptoms of illness related to COVID-19 will not be permitted in the hospital or may be asked to leave if symptoms start while here.
- 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 support person 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 the support person as well.
- Only essential health care personnel will attend deliveries.
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 care partner/support person. The care partner is permitted to leave and return once per day e.g. going home to shower or out to eat. Again, your support person must remain in the room with you as much as possible. Please ensure your care partner/support person 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 primary 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.
- While we encourage visiting to take place after you are discharged from the hospital and are at home, only grandparents and siblings of the newborn are permitted to visit from 2pm to 8pm daily. No other visitors are allowed at this time. In addition to the care partner, there is a maximum of three additional visitors at the bedside at one time (e.g. one set of grandparents at a time and a sibling) to allow for appropriate physical distancing. Patients must coordinate grandparent/sibling visiting to ensure limits at the beside are maintained. Please limit visits to one hour to allow for space and time for other patient visitors. Please be mindful that in a shared room, other patients may have visitors as well. Please maintain a safe physical distance. All visitors will be screened for symptoms of COVID-19 at the entrances. They must be screened negative (have no symptoms) to be permitted entrance. A medical mask must be worn by visitors at all times.
- 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 one care partners is permitted.
- For babies requiring a follow-up appointment in our clinics (Jaundice or Breastfeeding), you may bring one care partner/support person with you. If the baby requires admission for treatment, both parents/caregivers will be permitted to stay with the baby during readmission. All patients and their designated support person(s) will be screened for symptoms of COVID-19 at the entrances. The support person must be screened negative (have no symptoms) to be permitted entrance.
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). Both parents may visit at the same time but will be dependent on the total number of newborns admitted to SCN and number of parents visiting at that time to ensure appropriate physical distancing. Please check with the SCN Nurses. There is no time restriction for how long the parent(s) can stay once here. All care partners must screen negative for COVID 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.
- 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
July 26, 2021