HealthQuest Stories

Show Results For:
Clear Filters

Patient Stories

View All

Subscribe to Our
e-Newsletter

Subscribe

The Benefits of Hospital Delivery During a Pandemic

Jul 6, 2020, 15:15 PM
Skagit Regional Health has skilled experts experienced in caring for laboring women and babies, even during safety concerns of COVID-19.

By Donna Schoonover, MD
Pediatric Hospitalist at Skagit Regional Health, in partnership with Seattle Children’s Hospital

The birth of a baby is both an exciting and scary time. Adding COVID-19 into the equation raises questions and safety concerns when thinking about your desired birth experience and preparing a birth plan.

Family Birth nurses assist laboring mom

There are several locations you might consider for the birth of your baby. In a hospital, a free-standing birth center or having a home birth are all options for those with low-risk pregnancies. While each mother-to-be can plan the birth experience in the location she desires, we want to alleviate any fear about birthing in a hospital during a pandemic.

Skagit Regional Health has skilled experts experienced in caring for laboring women and babies. Our facilities maintain strict cleaning standards and we have implemented additional safety protocols to safely care for you and your baby in these uncertain times.

Statistics have shown that planned out-of-hospital birth was associated with a higher complication rates in babies1. You might wonder why this is. Sudden changes in the medical conditions of the mother can be identified and addressed quickly with monitoring in a hospital. In addition, hospitals offer quick access to obstetricians and have increased resources available to support you and your baby. During the delivery process, things can go wrong quickly with the mother's health, the uterus, placenta, umbilical cord or the baby becoming stuck. These complications can happen in a mother without any risk factors and without any advanced warning. In the hospital, there is the ability to rapidly access anesthesia and obstetrical services if interventions are needed suddenly.

Skagit Regional Health hospitals offers these services, as well as pediatric hospitalists from Seattle Children's Hospital available at Skagit Valley Hospital 24 hours a day to attend deliveries and resuscitate babies, if needed. These pediatric experts can also respond if there is a sudden change in the baby's status after delivery. Skagit Regional Health offers nurses and respiratory therapists specially trained in neonatal emergency care, the medications and equipment needed to support a baby through any delivery emergency and the ability to call a "Code Neo." This emergency code brings a specialized team of additional doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, IV therapists, pharmacists, lab and X-ray personnel to quickly care for your baby. If complications such as the uterus rupturing, the placenta separating early, a problem with the umbilical cord or the baby getting stuck (dystocia), seconds matter. In these situations, the oxygen flow to the baby is quickly compromised. This underscores the importance of having the equipment and expertise immediately available.

Staff at the Family Birth Center in masks

Beyond having readily accessible expert clinicians and advanced equipment on hand, Skagit Regional Health is doing everything in our power to prevent the spread of COVID-19. We are testing all people being admitted to the hospitals for the virus. We are limiting visitors. We are screening all visitors and staff for symptoms of the virus. We have physical distancing measures established in each facility to prevent the spread. We have our Environmental Services Team (housekeeping) actively sanitizing all surfaces. We have adequate protective equipment to prevent staff from becoming ill and spreading the virus. With all of these measures in place, we want to reassure you that it is safer to be at a hospital than at a grocery store.

We understand that you will want to share the excitement of the birth of your baby with family and friends, but while COVID-19 remains active in our community, we have limited the number of visitors in our facilities, including in our Family Birth Centers. We realize that this is a compromise for many birth and postpartum plans. We share your sadness about these changes. However, our highest priority remains the health and safety of you and your baby. We do allow obstetric patients to have two designated healthy adult visitors (partner and birth support) when in labor. One support person may remain with the baby and mother following the birth. During the pandemic, you have likely already practiced physically distanced communication with friends and family using computers and phones. This will continue to be an important tool in keeping you and your baby safe.

We recognize that each woman is different and each birth plan is unique. We encourage you to talk to your healthcare provider when making your birth plan and know that Skagit Regional Health is here to provide expert, safe care whenever you need us.

1Snowden, J. M., Tilden, E. L., Snyder, J., Quigley, B., Caughey, A. B., & Cheng, Y. W. (2015). Planned Out-of-Hospital Birth and Birth Outcomes. New England Journal of Medicine, 373(27), 2642-2653. doi:10.1056/nejmsa1501738

Blog

157 posts

Last post : 08/12/2020

The Benefits of Hospital Delivery During a Pandemic

Jul 6, 2020, 15:15 PM
Skagit Regional Health has skilled experts experienced in caring for laboring women and babies, even during safety concerns of COVID-19.

By Donna Schoonover, MD
Pediatric Hospitalist at Skagit Regional Health, in partnership with Seattle Children’s Hospital

The birth of a baby is both an exciting and scary time. Adding COVID-19 into the equation raises questions and safety concerns when thinking about your desired birth experience and preparing a birth plan.

Family Birth nurses assist laboring mom

There are several locations you might consider for the birth of your baby. In a hospital, a free-standing birth center or having a home birth are all options for those with low-risk pregnancies. While each mother-to-be can plan the birth experience in the location she desires, we want to alleviate any fear about birthing in a hospital during a pandemic.

Skagit Regional Health has skilled experts experienced in caring for laboring women and babies. Our facilities maintain strict cleaning standards and we have implemented additional safety protocols to safely care for you and your baby in these uncertain times.

Statistics have shown that planned out-of-hospital birth was associated with a higher complication rates in babies1. You might wonder why this is. Sudden changes in the medical conditions of the mother can be identified and addressed quickly with monitoring in a hospital. In addition, hospitals offer quick access to obstetricians and have increased resources available to support you and your baby. During the delivery process, things can go wrong quickly with the mother's health, the uterus, placenta, umbilical cord or the baby becoming stuck. These complications can happen in a mother without any risk factors and without any advanced warning. In the hospital, there is the ability to rapidly access anesthesia and obstetrical services if interventions are needed suddenly.

Skagit Regional Health hospitals offers these services, as well as pediatric hospitalists from Seattle Children's Hospital available at Skagit Valley Hospital 24 hours a day to attend deliveries and resuscitate babies, if needed. These pediatric experts can also respond if there is a sudden change in the baby's status after delivery. Skagit Regional Health offers nurses and respiratory therapists specially trained in neonatal emergency care, the medications and equipment needed to support a baby through any delivery emergency and the ability to call a "Code Neo." This emergency code brings a specialized team of additional doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, IV therapists, pharmacists, lab and X-ray personnel to quickly care for your baby. If complications such as the uterus rupturing, the placenta separating early, a problem with the umbilical cord or the baby getting stuck (dystocia), seconds matter. In these situations, the oxygen flow to the baby is quickly compromised. This underscores the importance of having the equipment and expertise immediately available.

Staff at the Family Birth Center in masks

Beyond having readily accessible expert clinicians and advanced equipment on hand, Skagit Regional Health is doing everything in our power to prevent the spread of COVID-19. We are testing all people being admitted to the hospitals for the virus. We are limiting visitors. We are screening all visitors and staff for symptoms of the virus. We have physical distancing measures established in each facility to prevent the spread. We have our Environmental Services Team (housekeeping) actively sanitizing all surfaces. We have adequate protective equipment to prevent staff from becoming ill and spreading the virus. With all of these measures in place, we want to reassure you that it is safer to be at a hospital than at a grocery store.

We understand that you will want to share the excitement of the birth of your baby with family and friends, but while COVID-19 remains active in our community, we have limited the number of visitors in our facilities, including in our Family Birth Centers. We realize that this is a compromise for many birth and postpartum plans. We share your sadness about these changes. However, our highest priority remains the health and safety of you and your baby. We do allow obstetric patients to have two designated healthy adult visitors (partner and birth support) when in labor. One support person may remain with the baby and mother following the birth. During the pandemic, you have likely already practiced physically distanced communication with friends and family using computers and phones. This will continue to be an important tool in keeping you and your baby safe.

We recognize that each woman is different and each birth plan is unique. We encourage you to talk to your healthcare provider when making your birth plan and know that Skagit Regional Health is here to provide expert, safe care whenever you need us.

1Snowden, J. M., Tilden, E. L., Snyder, J., Quigley, B., Caughey, A. B., & Cheng, Y. W. (2015). Planned Out-of-Hospital Birth and Birth Outcomes. New England Journal of Medicine, 373(27), 2642-2653. doi:10.1056/nejmsa1501738