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Robert R. Cawley, D.O.

Dover, NH 03802

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05/11/2020

Managing Pregnancy During COVID-19

A message from the Wentworth-Douglass Hospital Women & Children’s Center care team:

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To all of you who are pregnant during this unprecedented time, we want you to know that we are here for you. Although there may be challenges, we want you to feel prepared, confident, and comfortable when it's time to birth your baby.

Months ago, when you began planning for your birth, it’s unlikely you imagined the degree of disruption and demands that current events would cause. You are being asked to make sacrifices. You are being asked to isolate and stay well during a time meant for celebration and connection. You may have cancelled your baby shower or baby-moon. You are being asked to limit visitors and adjust your birth plans. You are being asked to remain calm amidst the unknown.

The Women & Children’s Center is here to support both your physical and emotional well-being during this time. As you await the birth of your baby we encourage you to find alternative ways to connect with others, and minimize stress. To support this, we have converted our education classes to an online/virtual experience, we have added online support groups, and we have listed local resources on our website. Among those resources you will find information from trusted resources on pregnancy and COVID-19 to audio meditations to reduce stress. We’ve also put together a virtual tour of the Women and Children’s Center.

We recognize there is a lot of information circulating in the community and social media and we want you to have accurate information. Below are answers to frequently asked questions:

Visitors: In an effort to minimize transmission of the COVID 19 virus to other patients and our staff members we have to limit visitors at this time. We would never ask you to birth alone. You should plan to have your partner, or one healthy adult support you in labor. If, in the unexpected circumstance that you do not have a healthy support person one of our Affiliate Doulas* can provide labor support at no cost to you. *This service is made possible through donations to the Wentworth-Douglass Hospital Foundation.

Visitors will be screened for signs of respiratory illness and not allowed in if they are sick. Your visitor is encouraged to stay once you are admitted. If necessary, he/she will be allowed to leave and return once per day and instructed to follow best practices regarding handwashing, physical distancing, and minimization of exposures while in the community, including separation from any sick household members.

Doulas: Any of the Affiliated Doulas of Wentworth-Douglass Hospital will be allowed in the room to assist laboring mothers, as they are considered part of the clinical team. If your professional doula is not affiliated with Wentworth-Douglass, please contact the Maternal/Child Resource office at (603) 609-6964.

Circumcisions: We are still offering this procedure.

Testing: All obstetric patients will be tested for COVID-19 upon admission to Women & Children’s or prior to their scheduled admission. If you are planning an induction or cesarean, you should call the WDH COVID hotline at (603) 609-6000 to make an appointment 48 hours prior to your scheduled date at our Pre-procedure Testing Clinic located at the Wentworth-Douglass Professional Center building at 10 Members Way in Dover. This clinic is designed for pre-screening and you will not be exposed to individuals who are symptomatic at this location. We are not testing partners at this time.

Masks: Patients and visitors are asked to wear masks while staff are in the room for longer than 10 minutes, as well as anytime you are in the hallways. There are no requirements for physical distancing within the room. During labor, when you are alone with your partner you can remove your mask for more comfort.

Options for pain relief in labor: If you test negative for COVID-19, you can use the jacuzzi during labor.  If you test negative for COVID-19 (72 hours prior to presenting at the Birth Center), we will also be able to offer you nitrous oxide.

As always, our staff are trained in non-pharmacologic coping techniques, and IV and epidural medications are available for those who would like them. We encourage you to plan ahead and take one of our many classes to feel prepared for labor.

Childbirth education and tours: You are encouraged to participate in our virtual classes and view our unit tour, all accessible online at wdhospital.org/childbirtheducation.

Preparing for your delivery stay: Please make arrangements for someone else to care for your pets and other children while you’re at the hospital and bring anything you will need (including car seat) with you when admitted. If your support person is a smoker, we encourage you to obtain nicotine replacement therapies (patch, gum, lozenges) beforehand since he/she will not be allowed in and out of the hospital to smoke.

Coming to the hospital: Labor patients should use the Garrison Wing entrance. Upon entering the building, pick up the wall phone to alert Security that you have arrived. They will call Women & Children’s to let us know, and one of our nurses will meet you at the door to escort you to the unit. Patients with scheduled induction or cesarean should use the Main Entrance.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to your provider’s office or our Maternal/Child Resource office at (603) 609-6964 or Lyndi.Sargent@wdhospital.org

While physical distance separates us, we are creating new ways to reach out and connect virtually through these uncertain times. You are not alone. Wentworth- Douglass Hospital is here for you and we look forward to being a part of this experience with you. We are working hard to make this the best experience possible.

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