Fathers not allowed in room for birth in NYC

posted 2 months ago in Pregnancy
Post # 31
Member
1304 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: City, State

I’m not claiming that there are no medical experts who believe differently for their own hospitals, or for their own population-level cases.

I believe this might still be the right call for THIS hospital at at THIS time, and the people making the call are making it with the benefit of knowing both the medical science and their own current operations.  

The WHO makes recommendations for the world… in totality, they’re global health experts.  The people making decisions at NY Presbyterian are experts at care delivered in their buildings. 

Post # 32
Member
4058 posts
Honey bee

I really don’t understand this. I live with my partner and will come home to my partner after birth. If I am carrying the virus, he most likely is too. If I get exposed in the hospital, he will be exposed too. It just makes no sense to me. I hope this does not become a trend in hospitals. 

 

Post # 33
Member
1592 posts
Bumble bee

coffeecakez :  Maybe it is the right policy – maybe it isn’t. I’m not a medical expert so I really have no idea if the advantages of this policy are worth the risks of making women go through birth by themselves. I do know that studies have shown better outcomes for birthing mothers who had a support person by their side – like pp said this isn’t just about feelings. The fact that there are high ranking people in the medical profession who think this is bad policy tells me that it is far from being a cut & dry type of issue…but time will tell.

Post # 34
Member
4058 posts
Honey bee

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mama2bee71 :  in case this makes you feel better, I had a c section and barely saw my husband for it. He was there for delivery, but then he went off with the baby while I was stitched up, brought to my room, and got all set up in bed. The next day or so, I would have him hold the baby periodically so I could shower, eat, etc. but a nurse could do that too. I think this policy absolutely sucks, but if it happens to me, I would actually rather have a c section than a vaginal delivery if I have to be alone.

Post # 35
Member
677 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

I am 33 weeks now, in Canada and my OB doesn’t anticipate a decision like this, but my hospital is already down to a single support person and no additional visitors, so that could certainly change in the next 7 weeks, putting it on my radar. 

Aside from the fact that I would really love my husband to be there to meet his child (we don’t even know the sex, we haven’t found out and I don’t think we will, but I’m assuming the ultrasound clinics may be closed before my 36 week scan so it’s likely not an option anymore anyway), it seems to me that having no one allowed with the mother may put additional stress on the nursing staff, who I assume will be somewhat stretched as it is. For my first birth, the nurse was definitely not there the whole time. She was at the end for the last couple hours, and I believe another nurse was present too (as well as the OB, respiratory team, and a nicu nurse). That other nurse may not have been able to be there if her patient didn’t have a birth partner. After birth, nurses may be required to spend much more one on one time with their patients and limit other things they are able to help with (ex, I almost fainted after a shower after birth and my husband called the nurse for me. I had been standing and fine for 10 min so she popped out to grab something). I also do not like the idea of being there without someone to make medical decisions on my behalf if I am not able to.

Besides that, as other posters have said, I have already seen on other platforms a ton of women asking if they should switch to a home birth because they don’t want to be alone. Not because they always wanted a home birth, or even overly low risk women. I understand that there may be a medical need for this, I am no expert, but it does seem inclined to push women to higher risk situations than they would otherwise consider. 

Post # 36
Member
915 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2019

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mrsnnn3 :  you hit the nail on the head. A planned homebirth with an actual medical professional and a WHOLE LOT of planning/caveats (testing, a backup plan with the hospital, a CNM who is able to also admit/practice at the hospital, and an abundance of caution for even the tiniest warning sign) is one thing…we don’t have accurate statistics in the US because we don’t have the infrastructure to carry it out in an evidence-based way. But, it’s done (and done well) in other parts of the world without much risk. 

Switching from a hospital to a home birth late in the game, without a CNM (like I said earlier, legitimate CNMs who attend home birth are rare and hard to book even if you know from day 1 you want a home birth), without that laundry list of safety checks/evaluating risk factors, is a totally different picture. It’s going to be dangerous. Lay midwives have been known to be predatory at the very best of times, and I cannot imagine the tactics they’ll employ when upset and panicking women reach out to ask questions. 

Also, it’s cruel and cavalier to use “well husbands haven’t been in the delivery room for very long anyhow.” That’s correct, but an important factor missing here is that women have had a bounty of support in the form of mothers/sisters/aunts/grandmothers/town midwives for as long we we have been upright and talking. Being expected to labor with the sporadic assistance of a worried and overworked nurse (who is a stranger, as kind as they may be) is tragic. It may be a necessary evil in certain situations, but to try and pretend like it is anything other than a major sacrifice and hardship is unacceptable. 

Post # 37
Member
3716 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2017 - City, State

My assumption (I’m in no way involved in the medical field so I don’t know) is that it is necessary to reduce the risk of spread because while yes, it’s likely that if one partner has it, the other one for as well, but it’s a matter of reducing the number of potential carriers with it from coming into the hospital.

If a husband doesn’t know he has it and goes into areas of the hospital that are not isolated/restricted to Covid patients, doesn’t he run a high risk of spreading it to vulnerable people coming in for other reasons when he’s in the lobby to sign in or in the maternity ward waiting room or grabbing food from the cafeteria (if they’re even open still)

The idea of not having a support person during labor sucks, but maybe this particular hospital doesn’t have the capacity to risk more accidental exposure than it’s already taking on. Maybe they’re at their reasonable risk limit. I do hope it changes soon because I do think it’s important for women in labor to have an advocate for themselves and support in the room directly whenever possible.

Post # 38
Member
221 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2020 - Concord, Ontario

This is so heartbreaking I know in Ontario Canada ther can be up to 3 people in the delivery room.

Post # 39
Member
2857 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

My heart goes out to the women out there facing this possibility/reality. This is a terrible situation being forced on all of us due to natural and man made issues. 

I’m a postpartum nurse and want to make it clear I am speaking only for myself and not all healthcare workers. I work in a hospital and a city that, so far, does not have many cases. Still, our administrators have taken away all of our masks fo distribute in a more conscious and logical way. Good. I hope that means the people in the ER are getting the protection they need.

But yesterday, I worked with a patient whose husband started showing symptoms of an upper respiratory illness. He was coughing and sweating and clearly getting the chills in a warm room. He was doing everything he could to support his wife and new son, which meant he was touching everything and was  coughing everywhere in that tiny room. He stood close to me so he could ask me questions and to watch me swaddle his baby. We worked side by side to help his wife get more comfortable in her bed or walk her to the chair or assist with breastfeeding. I was in and out of that room and three other rooms for twelve hours.

I didn’t have a mask. 

Because he wasn’t technically a patient, he didn’t get meals delivered. He could come and go as he pleased especially to get food from our cafeteria. Where other healthcare workers also went to grab a bite. Where other support people went to eat. Including grandmothers who were here in lieu of other fathers. He took the same elevators that also lead to our ICUs. Their room was just a few doors down from the NICU.

He didn’t have a mask.

Not having a support person during your time in maternity is horrible and scary and heartbreaking. I acknowledge that 100%. Please just remember, though, that much like everything going on related to COVID-19, it isn’t just about you transmitting it between yourselves. The hospital has to think of everyone coming in and going out. That’s such cold comfort, I know, but maybe it helps someone out there.

Post # 40
Member
1592 posts
Bumble bee

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HisMoon :  That is so scary bee. I am conflicted about an outright ban on partners in the birthing room, but at the minimum I feel like if a partner is showing signs of being ill they should be asked to leave. And perhaps have their temp taken when they first arrive, and then not be allowed to leave the room? I don’t know, just thinking out loud. Like there should be a middle ground between “all partners are allowed to come and go as they please no matter what” and “no partners are allowed period.” 

Post # 41
Member
2857 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

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emilyofnewmoon :  believe me, we sent the question up the hierarchy. He did not show any symptoms the first day during admission and through labor, so it wasn’t an issue. We asked for a mask for him were told that it would send a bad message to the other patients and that “they” didn’t want us having to field requests from other supports for masks of their own. Etc. Unfortunately, he refused requests to have his temperature taken when in the room, and we aren’t testing people that are already in the hospital. 

Post # 42
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1682 posts
Bumble bee

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HisMoon :  

Separate from his role as a support person, as someone showing symptoms indicative of possible covid19, he should have been asked to leave the hospital and self isolate.  If there were sufficient tests, I could wish he had been tested to determine the risk to the baby that’s being sent home to him.

Post # 43
Member
1592 posts
Bumble bee

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HisMoon :  Wow that’s crazy! I feel like anyone who refuses to have their temp taken shouldn’t be allowed in, period. Like these are crazy times, if you don’t want to submit to a temp check that’s fine but then go the hell home.

Ugh I’m so sorry you’re facing this type of danger at work. 

Post # 44
Member
2857 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

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gimmepretty :  in hindsight, I’m sure our managers are thinking this. They’re making decisions on the fly and weren’t prepared to consider having to kick a support person out in the middle of postpartum. Our rules say that the supports cannot be switched out for ANY reason. I hope they reconsider that.

As for testing, cue my hysterical fear-laugh. I’m not directing it at you, more just trying to hold my ish together while watching the world burn down around me. 

Post # 45
Member
1304 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: City, State

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HisMoon :  Thanks for sharing this story bee. I hope you stay safe.

Covid is contagious before people start showing obvious symptoms, and early symptoms can be masked by OTCs. People can also get much sicker, fairly quickly. (Eg. Dad is feeling almost fine at noon but took Dayquil, but feels like crap and can’t hide it at 10pm-  and that’s assuming he is showing symptoms at all.) 

While hospital staff is overwhelmed, is it fair to ask them to monitor and keep taking the temperature of non-patients?  In a city like NYC, in a HUGE hospital chain, is it fair to expect the nursing staff on each floor to make these kinds of ad-hoc decisions on a day to day basis? 

The people who have to make these kinds of calls aren’t necessarily downplaying the role of caretakers in the delivery room. There are so many lives at stake and so little margin for error that some calls are necessary. 

Is it fair that a diabetic or immune compromised support person might die because someone else’s sick or asymptomatic support person was in the same waiting room? No. None of this is fair. In a pandemic, you do what you can, when you can, with what you have. 

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