Wheeling Hospital Offers Assurance to Expectant Moms
March 31, 2020
WHEELING, W.Va. – Pregnancy can come with its own set of nervous moments, but in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, those nerves might morph into true anxiety. Wheeling Hospital is working to calm the moms due to give birth, and maintain a safe environment for everyone involved.
From fears about protection from infectious exposure to limitations on support from loved ones during delivery, some pregnant women may be on edge.
“Labor and Delivery, as well as Women’s Services, continue to adhere to Wheeling Hospital guidelines regarding infectious exposure,” said obstetrician/gynecologist Dr. Gary DeGuzman. “Appropriate levels of PPE (personal protective equipment) use are being guided by ongoing recommendations from Infection Control and Corporate Health.”
Even before the delivery date, the hospital has taken steps to protect its patients and staff.
“As a department, our OB/GYN providers continue seeing patients where it is a necessity,” DeGuzman said. “This includes standard OB care both in office and L&D, as well as problematic gynecological issues needing more immediate attention, be that medical or surgical.”
However, routine visits have been temporarily suspended to protect both patients and staff from exposure to COVID-19. Also suspended are all non-emergent gynecological surgeries “in an effort to conserve PPE supplies and maintain hospital bed access in this critical time period” said DeGuzman, who also is Wheeling Hospital’s director of Minimally Invasive/Pelvic Reconstructive and Gynecological Robotic Surgery. “Emergent gynecological surgeries will not be affected. We are expecting to return to the routine scheduling of surgeries by mid-May.”
Moms headed to ultrasound tests and OB/GYN visits also are asked to bring no visitors into the exam rooms.
Radiology Director Jen Bond said, “This is a new challenge to all of us. We understand this is a joyous occasion for the parents but we also need to keep our patients, staff and our staff’s families safe by following visitor policies set by the hospital during this pandemic.
“The 20-week OB scan is usually when the mom sees the baby’s features and the gender is revealed. The mother will receive a CD with images of their baby to share. We can also provide sealed, gender reveal cards so they can find out the sex of their baby at the same time as their family.”
Meanwhile, Wheeling Hospital has joined hospitals nationwide in restricting the moms to just one support person during delivery.
DeGuzman said, “We understand this it may be a hardship to many expectant mothers, however support persons are being limited to one, both on L&D and on the postpartum unit, and this person will have to be over 18. This is to protect mother, baby, family and staff.”
Wendy Cook, nurse manager in L&D and Women’s Services, said that in the interest of minimizing exposure to COVID-19, childbirth education classes have been temporarily cancelled. The next class is tentatively scheduled for May.
“We are looking at live video classes,” Cook said. “But we do have online books available for our patients at this time.”
Breastfeeding classes have also been temporarily cancelled. However, consultations are available if needed by certified lactation consultants by calling 304-243-3235.
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Contact: Thea Gompers, Director, Marketing/Public Relations 304-243-3705
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