Q: Is it safe to have my baby at the hospital right now? What steps is Maui Memorial taking to protect me and my baby from COVID-19?
Even with the presence of coronavirus on our island, I still believe that the hospital is the safest place for pregnant women to give birth. Maui Memorial has made many changes to make sure that the hospital is as safe as possible for mothers and babies. First, Labor, Delivery, and Postpartum is kept completely isolated from the rest of the hospital, with our doctors, nurses, and staff rarely having to visit other areas of the hospital except when our patient needs dictate like the ED or post-surgery units. All patients and their support people are screened for symptoms and temperature prior to being admitted to the unit and they are both asked to wear a mask while in the hospital, including during labor when possible. And of course, the ward has never been cleaner, because staff is being extra vigilant about cleaning and disinfecting every surface and tool.
After birth, the baby will stay in the mother’s room, not in the nursery. We are also limiting visitors, so that each mother will only be allowed to have one support person with her during labor and throughout her time in the hospital. Limiting the number of people who come into the hospital from the community can significantly reduce the chance of spreading infection.
We have also converted three rooms into COVID-safe areas that are separated from the rest of the ward and equipped with HEPA air filters. That means if any woman comes to the hospital who is suspected or confirmed COVID-positive, she will be able to labor, deliver, and receive postpartum care safely and in isolation.
If you are worried about safety during labor and delivery, please don’t hesitate to talk about your concerns with your doctor.
For more information about our new protocols at Maui Memorial Medical Center visit mauihealth.org/safe.
Dr. Stacy Ammerman
OB/GYN, Maui Lani Physicians & Surgeons