Fathers not allowed in room for birth in NYC

posted 2 months ago in Pregnancy
Post # 16
Member
56 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: March 2018

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raliel :  It is Mount Sinai system as well and I expect NYU, and possibly Northwell system to follow suit. I am an ER doctor at one of the hospitals most ravaged by the virus–200 covid rule-out patients in the waiting room, having to reuse PPE and a true possibility that we may run out of ventilators–so I am in direct view of how bad this is. But this policy is not going to change that. As I’ve mentioned, if you have the virus, your partner likely has it too. They are testing laboring women for the virus; if they are positive they will be isolated. With our numbers in NYC, it should just be assumed that a couple has it and precautions taken; or just test the partner. We have a shortage on tests, I know this firsthand, but we are also at the point that we are in full PPE at all time, even when a patient doesn’t have typical covid symptoms, and where doctors are encouraged to work even if they were exposed, assuming they don’t have symptoms – just “wear a mask”. We have surpassed the point where this will do anything. This policy is optics, pure and simple, and puts women and their babies at risk. 

Post # 17
Member
41 posts
Newbee

Homebirth is an option if you’re low risk. I know in some cases this is a “luxury” since it isn’t typically covered by insurance. 

I had a hospital birth with our first child but am in my third trimester with our second and opting for a homebirth this time around. Of course it’s extremely important to have a midwife who is prepared and experienced. There are so many downfalls to not having your partner for support during labor and delivery but I also would be concerned about the virus being airborne around a newborn’s immune system. 

I absolutely am not intending to sound dismissive here as I know there are great stressors surrounding any type of pregnancy, labor, delivery and postpartum recovery in this COVID-19 mess. 

Post # 18
Member
8985 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

I feel like more scared women are going to attempt a home birth than reasonably should because of these policies and that’s also dangerous. 

Post # 19
Member
925 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2019

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LilliV :  I worry about this too. In most states, CNMs who are well-regarded and attend births at home are few and far between, and booked up at the best of times. I really worry that women will, in their understandable desperation, turn to the charlatans who call themselves midwives. 

 

My heart absolutely breaks for everyone involved. When ER doctors themselves are calling this a bad policy, we should listen. 

Post # 20
Member
737 posts
Busy bee

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dianaj17 :  Srsly even if this is a bad policy (and I don’t understand the full reasons so I’m not gong to pass judgement), there really needs to be a proactive campaign against home birthing during this time of fear and confusion. I hadn’t even thought of this but it actually could be a thing.

Obvi having the father there is preferable but it’s still far safer in a hospital without the father than at home with him and without emergency treatment if needed. It’s not like we haven’t been giving birth without the father present for hundreds if not thousands of years if it really comes to that. It’s not ideal but I hate to think of what could happen if pregnant women start fearing going to the hospital during this time, it’s actually terrible what could happen.

Post # 21
Member
41 posts
Newbee

Would just like to add to my previous comment and stress how extremely important it is to have a skilled midwife if you choose the homebirth route. I also worry that women will give birth at home out of desperation or fear and yes, that is dangerous. 

Our midwife (who we hired and planned for before the covid outbreak) has her doctorate degree, has been a midwife for over 30 years, and delivered more than 2,000 babies at home. Of course things can happen and it’s imperative to have a midwife who knows what signs to be aware of and how to handle emergencies. Anyway, she has more than 4x the experience that our previous OB had. It is possible to have a safe homebirth if you do your research and have the proper team and support.

Post # 22
Member
2650 posts
Sugar bee

This is absolutely terrifying, and my heart goes out to all the expecting mothers in new york who will be affected by this. I’m in nyc too and had been ttc until a few weeks ago. We decided to wait because the thought of being pregnant during this crisis terrified me–the unknown effects of covid in early pregnancy, the risk of needing to go to a hospital during a pandemic, the added stress–and while waiting is hard, with each passing day and headline I feel more confident we are making the right choice for us.

Post # 23
Member
1910 posts
Buzzing bee

ohdarling :  Noooooo OMG!!!! I have to get a c section and I’m terrified already of doing this. My twins are due in 6 weeks. I didn’t read the article but I’ll have to read if.

Post # 24
Member
8985 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

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ivegotsunshine822 :  it’s absolutely safe for SOME women to have a home birth. If that’s a reasonable option for you and you have a good care team in place then I think that’s a fantastic choice! My fear is for the women who aren’t good candidates and don’t know that there are CNMs and “midwives” and that they are not really the same attempting this purely out of fear with someone who isn’t actually qualified. I love CNMs – I used them for my first pregnancy and again for my current one, but mine work out of a hospital and don’t attend home births. 

Post # 25
Member
1304 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: City, State

It will never cease to surprise me that people who are not medical experts will never stop second guessing the attempts by medical professionals in medical emergencies.

Without adequate tests available for the fathers you CANNOT assume fathers have the same covid results as the mother, any more than you can assume that fathers and mothers are husband and wife.  It has been taking DAYS to get tests for patients to confirm their status in some hospitals.  DAYS.

If the father is not a patient, the hospital CANNOT force him to stay in the room for a long labor.  Does this mean an unmasked, possibly uninfected, non-patient should be exposed in a hospital with confirmed covid cases?  Or should nurses and other medical staff have to give up PPE for a visitor, when they don’t have enough for themselves? 

What is the solution here?  Ask the fathers to sign a waiver because they will likely be exposed to a pandemic virus in the hospital, and maybe become a patient himself in two weeks?  Or to let someone who may have the coronavirus sit in the same lounges, cafeterias or hallways as uninfected persons?  Staff aren’t walking into the hospital in PPE. They’re getting on elevators, walking through corridors, etc. Isn’t it sensible to keep as many potential carriers OUT of the hospitals so that staff is only exposed to viral load from actual patients?  

These are not normal times.  Yes, my heart breaks for the laboring women and their partners.  But perhaps we should assume that infectious disease doctors at some of the preeminent hospitals in the world know a thing or two about risk from infectious disease?

Post # 26
Member
1592 posts
Bumble bee

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coffeecakez :  A lot of the people criticizing this decision ARE medical professionals. I take everyone else’s opinion with a grain of salt, but when actual ER doctors and other physicians on the front lines of the pandemic are saying it’s a bad policy, that holds more weight imo.

Post # 27
Member
9771 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

They’ve restricted it to one support person here, but I’m mentallly preparing to do it alone if I have to.

Even if they do allow the extra support person, there’s no telling if I’ll get sick. Or DH. Or our dd, or my mom who is planning on watching her. There’s a lot of variables going on atm.

It sucks.

Post # 28
Member
8985 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

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coffeecakez :  it’s contrary to WHO recommendations which is why people are questioning why some hospitals are barring the support person from delivery while others are not. It is very difficult to effectively advocate for yourself while in labor and unfortunately maternal healthcare in the US is not very good to start with in many places, particularly for women of color. It’s not just about feelings. 

https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-on-covid-19-pregnancy-childbirth-and-breastfeeding

Post # 29
Member
5573 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2017

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ivegotsunshine822 :  people say this, but I was low risk with a tiny baby who was in position for weeks ahead of time. Everything pointed to a smooth delivery.

I had to have an emergency csection, my daughter would have died and I could have as well.

Low risk for complications doesn’t mean there won’t be any

Homebirth isn’t for everyone

I’m currently 27 weeks pregnant and will be having a scheduled section, I worry that my husband won’t be able to be in the room during the delivery but we won’t know until we get closer

The only comfort that I have is that it will be scheduled, I will know the day she will be arriving (unless I go before) so I won’t have that unknown among the unknowns of what delivery would be like and who could be there

This is just awful all around and my heart goes out to people who are due much sooner than I am

Post # 30
Member
10258 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2016

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coffeecakez :  Plenty of medical experts are criticizing this decision. This is in no way unanimously supported by experts.

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