COVID-19 Pandemic Why a Home Birth is the still the best option
How to keep your family safe As we all know, New Mexico is now experiencing confirmed COVID-19 infections. The coronavirus or COVID-19 originating from China has rapidly spread across the globe and is now locally here in New Mexico. According to NM dept. of Health and the CDC, All of those people either were exposed during travel or were in close contact with someone else who tested positive. It is now being spread through the community, including asymptomatic people.
What does that mean for families planning to birth at home? Birthing at home is one of the best choices you can make during this time. Keeping you, your newborn and your immediate family members in your household safe, reducing your chances of becoming infected by isolating and socially distancing yourself (staying home), newborn and family members from others.
My practice is now full for September, November, January- May. Occasionally a spot will become available-you're welcome to still inquire. I am not available for due dates June, July and August.
I am now offering home visits for all clients, especially for clients who have already birthed and have a newborn. If you desire all your prenatal appts be at your home (Abq, RR, Los Lunas, Belen East Mountains) an additional travel fee applies. I expect the duration of recommended clinician changes to last through to next Spring or until NM DOH and CDC has determined the virus has been contained and no longer presents a risk.
Prenatal and Postpartum visits: Prenatal and Postpartum visits are back in the office. I am conducting appts in your home at your request (Travel fee applies). For women who have recently birthed and has a newborn 2 weeks or younger, your Postpartum visits are in your home: Postpartum visits include the normal care schedule of 24-36 hrs, 4 day, and 2 week (those are in your home) 4 and 6 week appts are in the office. We are taking extra measures and maintaining upmost diligence in disinfecting all our equipment and office space, especially in between appts. Along with keeping ourselves healthy as possible. You will notice we are now wearing masks with in-person interactions, including wearing a mask at your birth. You are NOT required to wear a mask in labour.
Birth: It's an exciting time when a baby is on the way! As always, and especially now, I recommend keeping people at your birth to a absolute minimum. People you plan on being there, should have some sort of specific support role to you and your partner and/or other children. Greatly limiting, or preferably having no outside visitors to your home before, during and after birth is the best way to protect you and your family. Its important to ask those you plan on being present at your birth if they or someone close to them, including being in close proximity to others, or if they have traveled recently or have any signs of being ill. It is vital you ask people to screen for their oral temperature and for any symptoms of illness before entering your home. Limit your exposure to others, consider video chatting!
Continue practicing everyday preventive actions. Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and/or into your arm and wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains 60% alcohol. Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects daily using a regular household detergent and water and/or disinfecting wipes often.
It was announced on March 13th that schools will be closed for the remainder of the school year. Although some day-cares will continue to be open for people who are essential workers, and have absolutely no other options for help with childcare, I highly recommend and urge you in keeping your children at home, greatly reducing exposure. This includes no play dates, social activities; gym, trampoline parks, explora, zoo, biopark, large events, even attending church. When grocery shopping, or running essential errands designate one person (if possible) from your household. Everyone needs to be taking this virus seriously, and practice social distancing to help contain the spread of the virus. Stay informed about the local COVID-19 situation. Get up-to-date information about local COVID-19 activity fromhttp://cv.nmhealth.org/ and the CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
Deciding factors in canceling your home visit or office visit: If you are sick or think you are getting sick, have a fever OR if you have traveled out if state (yes, even across state lines) within the last 14 days, especially to Europe or China we will need to cancel your in-person appointment, it will be replaced with a Phone or Zoom appt. This includes any immediate family members in your household, or anyone who has visited your home or if you have had close contact with. You meet the criteria to call: New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) at (505) 827-0006.
If you, or any immediate family members in your household who have a fever greater than 100.4˚F along with a cough and shortness of breath, you will need to call the NM Department of Health for COVID-19 testing according to current guidelines. These symptoms are considered the main testing criteria and are based on symptoms of severe illness. Call the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) at (505) 827-0006. Those with mild symptoms of a cold or flu-like illness are asked to stay at home, limit contact with immediate family members and to not have any outside visitors in your home. Those with mild symptoms are currently not being tested through the Department of Health. Visit NM DOH and the CDC to keep up to date. We will proceed with a Zoom appt. Children are not being screened for COVID-19 at this time.
Be aware of the signs and symptoms of COVID-19: If any of the following are true, notify Louise and call the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) at (505) 827-0006:
You have fever, cough, or shortness of breath, and in the 14 days before your symptoms started, you visited China, Iran, Italy, South Korea, or were in contact with a person known to have COVID-19
You do not have fever, cough, or shortness of breath, but you did travel to China, Iran, Italy, or South Korea, in the last 14 days, or were in contact with a person known to have COVID-19
On March 12, 2020, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham announced COVID-19 Self-Isolation Recommendations in an effort to mitigate the widespread community transmission of COVID-19. A 14-day self-isolation is recommended for individuals based on criteria that includes previous or planned international or domestic travel or contact with a person known to be positive for COVID-19. These recommendations are being enforced among all state employees known to have traveled and we encourage others to follow the same guidance. What is known about the virus is that pregnant women do not appear to be more susceptible, or at an increased risk.
I understand this is a stressful time with the unknown. Together, we can work to keep you, your family and ourselves safe and healthy. Please don't hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns.