Giving Birth In Tucson – Changes Due to COVID-19

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Giving Birth In Tucson

UPDATE 6-12-2020:
Banner Tucson has walked back it’s policy to allow doulas to attend births. Visitor limitations of one support person have been reinstated due to the sharp increase in COVID+ cases in Arizona.

UPDATE 5/28/2020:
Effective Immediately labor doulas will be allowed to attend births at Banner in both Tucson and Phoenix.

 

If you are giving birth in Tucson, you are likely wondering, “How will COVID-19 change how I plan to give birth?” That is one of the most frequent questions we are receiving. Understandably, this is the question on the minds of most pregnant people. Hospital policies have changed rapidly.

Knowing what to expect as you head to your birth location plays a massive role in reducing fear and increasing your confidence.

Here at Tucson Doulas, we are keeping up with current hospital policies. Knowing these policies enables us to answer the questions that our clients and community are asking.

Let’s take a look at the changes you may encounter when giving birth in Tucson during this time.

  • At this time, all Tucson hospitals allow only one support person to be present for labor.
    • As a result, we are providing virtual support via video calls, text messages, and voice calls.
    • Our clients are telling us just how thankful they are to still have their doula present via Facetime and Skype.
  • As you arrive at the hospital, you can expect that your partner or support person will need to wait in the car or outside.
    • Next, you will head into triage on your own.
    • Once admitted to a labor room, your partner is then permitted to join you.

As you arrive to triage, you will encounter hospital staff that will screen you for illness.

  • The nurse will ask you a series of questions.
  • Next, they will take your temperature.
    • If you arrive with a fever, you will be admitted for birth.
    • However, partners may not be permitted to follow.

Once you are admitted and settled into your labor and delivery room:

  • You can call your partner to join you.
  • Next, your partner will be subject to the same illness screening that you experienced.
    • Support people who present with a fever of 100 degrees or above will not be allowed in.
  • Some hospitals will ask you and your partner to wear a mask at all times.
  • Depending on your birth location, nurses will be gowned, wear masks, and protective eyewear for all patient interactions.
  • During your stay, you will be asked to refrain from moving throughout the halls.
  • In some locations, hospital policy will direct providers to maintain social distancing practices except for direct clinical care.
  • As a result, your partner or support person will be the one to provide you with hands-on comfort measures.
    • These comfort measures may include counter pressure, massage, a comforting touch, and wiping your brow.
  • At this time, nitrous oxide as a pain relief option has temporarily discontinued during labor.
  • Many locations are not permitting partners or your support person to leave the hospital during your stay.
    • As a result, if your partner steps out, they will likely not be permitted back in.

Once you have delivered:

  • You and your partner/support person will move along with your baby to your postpartum room.
  • Some hospitals will ask you and your partner to wear a mask at all times on the postpartum unit.
  • Depending on your birth location, nurses will be gowned, wear masks, and protective eyewear for all patient interactions.
  • During your stay, you are instructed to refrain from moving throughout the halls.
    • Some hospitals are providing meals for partners.
  • If your baby needs to go to the NICU and you are discharged before your baby, many hospitals will provide a complimentary room for you to say in on-site.

When you’re giving birth in Tucson it is understandable that these unanticipated changes can make you feel unsafe and especially vulnerable.  But here’s what I want you to know about the hospitals we’ve worked with collectively for 60 years and counting:

Here at Tucson Doulas, we know our hospitals are doing everything they can to ensure the safety of you and your family as you come to them for care during your labor and birth.

If you’re feeling uncertain about how to navigate all of these changes and want some extra support in your corner, we’ve got you covered.

Contact us to learn more about how we are utilizing Facetime and Skype to provide real-time, face to face support to our laboring clients.

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