We want to keep you informed on how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting your midwifery care. As the information is rapidly evolving from day to day, please check back to this site for changes as we will be updating it weekly. Please be assured that your midwives are working tirelessly to keep well informed and up to date on the evolving developments and recommendations and will continue to do so.
The safety and wellbeing of you and your growing baby remains our number one priority. For this reason, we are making some important adjustments to how we organize our care to help limit the spread of the infection in the coming months.
We appreciate that this is a challenging time for all and thank you for your patience and understanding.
Covid-19 & Pregnancy
*Pregnant people are not more susceptible to Covid-19 than other people. Social distancing (only going out for required errands, fresh air and maintaining 2m distance between people) and frequent handwashing will significantly reduce your risk of getting the virus.
*Symptoms of Covid-19 include fever, new or worsening cough or shortness of breath, pneumonia, influenza-like illness, or upper respiratory tract infection (e.g. runny nose, sore throat). If you have any of these symptoms, please DO NOT come to clinic. Instead call the clinic so we can reschedule your appointments and you can discuss with your midwife.
*Pregnant patients with mild COVID 19+ symptoms should be kept at home in self-isolation. Most women will only experience mild or moderate cold/flu like symptoms. You should not have visitors if experiencing symptoms.
*If you are ill, you should self-isolate (do not go out) until 10 days after the first symptoms appear and anyone in your household who does not have symptoms should self-isolate for 14 days after you had your first symptoms.
*Pregnant people with symptoms should self-isolate at home, however, if these symptoms are in the 3rd trimester, you should be swabbed for Covid-19 and influenza. Please call your midwife and the nurse line 8-1-1 if you are over 28 weeks pregnant and think you have Covid-19 symptoms to discuss testing and monitoring plan.
*If your condition worsens, and you are unable to breathe effectively or have a fever that cannot be treated with Tylenol, please present to the emergency department at VGH or St. Paul’s Hospital, let them know your symptoms immediately so they can give you a mask and place you safely away from other patients.
*If you are unsure what to do please use the self-check on the Covid-19 Thrive app
WORK ABSENCE & EMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
As per instructions from the Minister of Health and the Provincial Medical Officer of Health, you will not need a note to miss work if you have symptoms: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020HLTH0077-000484
People in quarantine (including those who are not sick and those whose workplace is closed to enforce social distancing), can apply for Employment Insurance Medical Leave. You do not need a medical certificate from your midwife:
New Provincial Covid-19 Symptoms Self-Assessment Website
This site is updated as recommendations from the BC Centre for Disease Control evolve. https://www.thrive.health/covid19
Clinic Update (March 26, 2020)
Visit schedule: Based on current recommendations from The World Health Organization [WHO] we have adjusted our visit schedule as follows:
First trimester: One visits (10-12wks) by phone/virtual
Second trimester: Two visits (20wks in person and 26wks by phone/virtual)
Third trimester: Five to seven visits as needed (30wks virtual or in person, 34 virtual or in person, 36 in person, 38 in person, 39-optional by phone, 40 in person, 41wks by phone or in person as needed).
If you need more appointments for medical reasons, your midwife will book those for you. You can also call or email if you have questions or concerns between visits.
You will be given instructions regarding a phone/video portion of your visit that will be sent out in your appointment reminder. In most cases, your visit will start by phone at the scheduled time. We ask you to be in the parking lot downstairs for this portion of your visit, and then you will come upstairs to the clinic for a quick in-person assessment at the end of the visit to take blood pressure and do a belly check. In other cases, you may be given a separate time for a phone visit and a brief in-person visit.
Please come alone to your appointment whenever possible.
Please wash your hands with soap and warm water and dry with paper towel on arriving at the clinic.
While our washroom will be available, please consider using your own washroom prior to your visit.
It is STRONGLY recommended that you practice self-isolation for you & your family at this time, to help ‘flatten the curve’ of this outbreak & only leave your house for essential services/needs. We expect that all families will be practicing social/physical distancing.
WHAT TO EXPECT AT BC WOMEN’S HOSPITAL
– Currently no Entonox (laughing gas) available
– Labour support is limited to one person in addition to a certified doula
– No visitors to the hospital postpartum
– Waterbirth is not currently available, although water immersion in labour is still an option.
– Your midwife will remain the primary care person in labour and birth and will be present at your labour and birth if you require a vacuum, forceps or Caesarean section.
– Available currently as per usual considerations.
– RMs unable to provide home birth if anyone in the home is unwell with COVID-19 symptoms (whether confirmed or clinical) or has been told to self-isolate.
– Waterbirth is not recommended, although water immersion in labour is still an option.
-Support people need to limited. Please discuss with your midwife. Doulas are welcome!
– As always, there will be one midwife attending your labour at home, and another midwife will arrive for the birth.
In person visits will be as follows:
One visit within the first 48 hours after birth.
One additional visit within the first week.
One visit between 4-6wks in the clinic for discharge.
We will attempt to do all other postpartum visits by phone or ‘virtually’, however we will consider further in-person visits for urgent clinical concerns.
RMs are unable to provide home visits if anyone in the household is unwell with COVID-19 symptoms (whether confirmed or clinical) or has been told to self-isolate and/or quarantine.