Welcoming Baby During a Pandemic

Published on July 15, 2021

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Welcoming Baby During a Pandemic

COVID-19 brought a stop to many things, but not childbirth.

Added safety precautions and limits on visitors haven’t diminished the joy inside The Birth Center at Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center, says Stephen Lakner, MD, who chairs the hospital’s OB-GYN Department.

“Moms are resilient, and so are their babies. While the pandemic has caused some hiccups and forced us to make some changes to our processes, our moms and babies have adapted well.”

Read about these local moms, their experiences having a baby at Shady Grove during a global pandemic and their advice for expectant moms who are about to do the same.


Annie

Annie M. - Rockville, MD

Delivery Date: July 2020

“Overall, my experience of having a baby during a pandemic was very positive. The hospital was very clean; all of the medical staff, nurses and doctors wore masks and used sanitizer or washed their hands upon entering my room. I actually really enjoyed having this experience with just me, my husband and our new baby boy. For my previous deliveries, we had a ton of family come visit and this time it was really nice just to enjoy the precious moments with just the three of us!”

What advice do you have for moms about to give birth?

“As soon as you have your baby in your arms, you'll forget about everything else! Focus on your baby and the blissful days of having amazing support from your nurses. Enjoy the quietness of your time together with your partner/support person and baby without people coming in and out all day. You've got this!”


Alisha

Alisha C. - Rockville, MD

Delivery Date: May 2020

“I delivered my second child during the pandemic, and honestly, delivery and the stay in the hospital were great. After my quick delivery, the labor and delivery nurse was so kind and got me the best 4 a.m. tuna sandwich ever. And once we got to the Mother/Baby Unit, I could just focus on my baby and on myself. I didn't have to worry about anyone else's needs, and it was like a mini-vacation (minus the sleep) after being hugely pregnant, working, and entertaining my daughter all day for two months. I was a little sad to only stay one night! The nurses were amazing and helped pick up any slack, and the staff were all so kind and wonderful, even during a scary and uncertain time for their own health.”

What advice do you have for moms about to give birth?

“Parenting quickly teaches you to be flexible and live with uncertainty and that you can manage it. There are certainly differences between delivering during a pandemic and in ‘normal’ times, but everyone at Shady Grove will make your experience as close to the usual one as possible.”


Heather

Heather S. - New Market, MD

Delivery Date: November 2020

“This was our second child. The delivery was much different than our first son. We had the waiting room packed with people when our first son was born. This time it was just me and my husband. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t apprehensive with the pandemic and the inability to have family at the hospital with us. With that said, it was actually really nice to have the bonding time with just the three of us. It was definitely a different experience to have to mask up during some of my labor, but I completely understood why. Throughout my labor and our stay in Mother/Baby we both always felt very safe.”

What advice do you have for moms about to give birth?

“Being pregnant during a pandemic when there are so many unknowns is hard. It was hard to quarantine prior to giving birth. We chose to do that as a precaution for our own safety and our sons. It definitely was worth it in the end. Always remember that your body and mind are made to do amazing things. The doctors and staff do everything to make sure that they are also following all of the safety protocols, but still create opportunities for you to enjoy the birth experience. Keep your focus on a safe, healthy delivery!”


AnnetAnnet B. - Derwood, MD

Delivery Date: December 2020

“It was our first birth and they were triplets! I was happy that my husband was allowed in the delivery room. This was a high-risk pregnancy, so I needed all the emotional support. When I delivered, I was constantly worried that [we would contract] COVID-19 during our NICU visits, as they went on for 2.5 months. Thankfully, it did not happen! The level of care at the hospital is compared to none. Doctors and nurses went above and beyond! They truly became family. The NICU team made the whole situation bearable.”

What advice do you have for moms about to give birth?

“Have a positive mindset. It is easy to worry, but it's actually safe. I was at the NICU for a long time but came out safe with my babies. So, for expectant mothers, you can relax! Listen to your healthcare provider, follow healthy guidelines. Be ready to receive the best care for you and your baby.”

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