First, we would like to say “Thank You” to everyone who has attended appointments this past week, your understanding and willingness to help us adjust has made a big difference in this process. As expected, new information is being released daily (if not even more often) and we are working hard to make sure that we are following the latest guidelines while also continuing to provide the heart-felt care we know is so important to our clients.
New guidelines have come out for birth centers and midwives regarding office visits and prenatal care during the corona virus pandemic. Our team is implementing the following in response to these guidelines in order to keep all of you and all our team as safe and healthy as possible to be able to continue to provide the care that you’re counting on:
All non-urgent non-pregnancy or postpartum visits that cannot be completed via video chat like annual exams and pap smears are cancelled at least until the end of April at this time.
We are moving to some visits being a video chat when possible. Not all visits will be online/video chat. The midwives will review each appointment and determine which appointments still need to occur in the clinic. You will receive a message from the midwife if your upcoming visit will be scheduled as a video chat visit and how to access these. Of course, if there is ever a concern, you are still able to reach the midwives on-call via phone, text, or message center and we would still have you come to the birth center to check on you in person if that is determined to be the best course of action. It will be typical that at a minimum, first prenatal visits, any visit that requires lab testing/blood draw, any visit that requires an ultrasound in our clinic, any visit that requires an injection or immunization, and visits at or after 40 weeks of pregnancy will be in-person.
For in-person visits, the following still applies – everyone in your household must be completely well in order for you to come in person for the visit, one completely well person may accompany you (though we are strongly encouraging coming alone to visits), and no children under 16 are currently allowed inside the birth center for appointments or births. We can still do “car visits” at your vehicle if your completely healthy children need to accompany you to an in-person visit. For ultrasounds or non-stress tests, a car visit will not be possible.
For the video chat visits, it is highly recommended you have a way to take your blood pressure and weight at home, and it is recommended to purchase a doppler and tape measure as well if you can. There are options to order these items below. The cost of a blood pressure cuff is $30-$60 and a doppler is around $50, tape measures are about $4, and scales are $10-$20. You are welcome to use anything you already have at home or borrow from a friend who might have any of these things and can drop them off to you maintaining at least 6 feet from each other!
We understand that these are all big changes. Please understand that most other clinics are also shifting to this type of care or reducing the number prenatal appointments all together. As a team, we decided that it was important to us to keep seeing our clients more regularly, so that we can still have those conversations and make sure you feel supported and cared for during this time. Video chats are not quite the same as in person, but they are still scheduled for the same amount of time and you are still able to ask questions and have face-to-face discussion. We also understand that current circumstances may be very difficult for some families financially, and if the costs of any items listed above will truly be a hardship, please reach out to us to discuss this.
Please know that we are implementing these changes because we know they are really that important. We miss the families in our waiting rooms, we miss the kids’ laughter and play, and we all are hoping that these changes are as temporary as possible.
Finally, we want you to know that we are here for YOU. We are checking messages frequently and are always willing to answer any questions you have. Your care, health, and safety are our priority!
Here are some options for equipment if needed for video visits. Other brands would be fine too – these are just examples of some brands we have experience with being reliable:
Blood pressure cuffs:
(note – please be careful ordering from eBay because dopplers on eBay could be shipping from another country and take months to get here, if at all)