Technology the ‘new norm’ for expecting mothers during pandemic

VIDEO: Technology the ‘new norm’ for expecting mothers during pandemic

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Delivering a baby during a pandemic can be worrisome, but hospitals are trying to keep things as normal as possible.

Angel Bozard is the administrative vice president for Summerville Medical Center’s women’s and children’s services and says the differences in the hospital during this pandemic are focused on the new precautions.

“We screen everyone including staff members at the hospital to make sure everybody is safe. All nurses have all the PPE needed and we have negative pressure rooms for the mom and the babies,” Bozard said. “We have a certain set up so if someone were to come in that we suspect has COVID, we put them in a special room but we take every precaution available from the time they come into the door.”

The center is using technology to help expecting mothers adjust, while still keeping safe.

Bozard says they have started a virtual tour of their facilities. They are also currently setting up online OB classes and breast-feeding classes where parents are able to learn and ask questions.

After birth, they're helping mothers use video platforms to connect with family members.

“We’re allowing one support person to come and stay with them which we feel is incredibly important during this time,” Bozard said. "They deliver and they go to postpartum and spend time with their families over FaceTime. We also have the NICView which we can set up during labor or delivery for families to spend time via web streaming. "

Just seven weeks ago, Shayla Pinkston gave birth to her second baby at Summerville Medical. Despite her concerns about the pandemic, Pinkston says the experience was normal.

"Once you got inside the labor and delivery unit, you wouldn't even have been able to guess that anything was abnormal going on in the world, other than not being able to have anyone but my husband there," Pinkston said.

For Latasha Anderson, she says she didn’t have anyone with her when she went into labor on April 17. She says her nurses were there for her and she was able to have a visitor later on, but she says a support system is needed.

“I think it’s very important to have someone there hands on that helps you through it," she said.

The medical center says at some point they’ll look at loosening restrictions, but they still have their one visitor rule in place for now.

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