Updated: October 29, 2020 10:22 PM
Created: October 29, 2020 06:49 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- Being a new mom is stressful. Having a baby during a global pandemic takes the experience to an unfamiliar level.
But UNM Hospital wants to assure expecting parents that they’re taking the steps to make sure each family’s birthing experience is pretty close to how they imagined.
Amanda Burns welcomed her son Coen in October.
It was her third time giving birth at UNM Hospital.
"It was actually just as beautiful and wonderful as the other two births,” explained Burns. “I felt very safe. The staff was wonderful. We were masked so that was the biggest difference, and we weren't allowed to have visitors but it kind of actually allowed us to have more intimate time with our son those first few days at the hospital anyway."
That's exactly the goal for UNM Hospital staff.
"We really support women in their choices around birth,” explained Dr. Eve Espey.
Those choices may have limitations with a pandemic. The birth plan may look a little different.
The large room, usually filled with visitors, will be less crowded. Expecting mothers will only have two people by their side. Everyone will also be required to wear a mask.
Health care providers aren't the only ones being screened.
"Every woman who comes in to deliver a baby will have a COVID test,” said Dr. Espey.
A dedicated team of gynecologists takes care of COVID-positive patients giving birth, working with high risk pregnancy specialists and ICU doctors. There's a designated room for mothers with COVID-19.
"Most women actually labor and deliver in the same big spacious room,” explained Dr. Espey.
Even during a pandemic, doctors and nurses are still focused on making childbirth as peaceful as possible.
"Everything was very clean. The staff was really respectful, we were able to walk around labor and delivery unit,” explained Burns. “We weren't like locked up in our rooms like, you know, prisoners that may have COVID or something. We were able to walk around, people were really friendly.”
After three babies, Burns' advice, pandemic or not, is the same:
"Try to enjoy. Even the sleepless nights. I had a moment two nights ago where maybe I had gotten four hours, two hours of broken sleep in the last 24 hours,” said Burns. “Had it been my first, I would have just been like in tears and a mess and when is this ever going to end. But being my third, I know that it ends like really quickly, and she's seven, and it seems like it was just yesterday that I was rocking her."
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