The coronavirus pandemic is causing a lot of additional anxiety for expecting parents.
Maternity wards across the nation are putting restrictions on visitors, and in some places, hospitals are even prohibiting significant others from being in the delivery room.
The visitor policies in New England aren’t yet that strict, but they are prohibitive. Doctors say it’s what’s necessary to keep parents and their newborns healthy.
Kyle and Sarah Rochefort of Hampstead, New Hampshire, are expecting a baby girl in June.
“Every day I get more excited,” Sarah said.
But these days that excitement comes with concern. Sarah is 28 weeks pregnant and now going to her prenatal checkups alone.
“It was weird seeing her just drive off,” Kyle said. “I’ve been to every other appointment.”
“This isn’t the experience we envisioned,” Sarah added.
Most OBGYN offices are prohibiting anyone but expectant mothers from coming through the doors.
So now, Sarah and Kyle are worried about delivery day.
“We don’t know what the world is going to be in June, we just don’t know,” Sarah said.
Some hospitals in hard-hit New York have banned spouses from the delivery room all together.
While that’s not yet happening locally, Dr. Thomas Zarka, who practices at Parkland Medical Center, says the situation is constantly changing.
“Yeah, that’s a realistic concern,” he said.
Like most other hospitals across the region, Parkland is now only allowing one support person in the delivery room and only if they’ve cleared medical screening.
“We’re really trying to do what’s best for our patients, loved ones, the hospital staff, and for the community at large,” Zarka explained.
So, for now, Sarah and Kyle are taking advantage of their extra time at home.
“It’s the best room in the house,” Kyle said about his baby’s nursery that is almost finished.
They say they’re ready to welcome a new baby into an uncertain world by putting their faith in their doctors.
“They are doing everything they can to keep everyone safe and our heart goes out to them too,” Sarah said.
“They’re the real heroes in this situation,” Kyle added.
The couple is clearly keeping everything in perspective and at this point just hoping to stay healthy.
That’s important because, at lot of hospitals, if an expectant mom has any symptoms of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, they will have to deliver their baby without anyone else in the room, but the doctor.