NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Healthcare providers continue to adapt to a new normal during the COVID-19 pandemic, which includes hospitals implementing practices to keep labor and delivery floors safe.
Chief Medical Officer of Saint Thomas Midtown Hospital, Dr. Nicole Schlechter, told News 2’s CB Cotton, “This is actually a really busy time on labor and delivery. We’re having a lot of babies here right now and we’re taking every precaution. The most important is that all of our patients are safe, that our associates are safe, our providers are safe and the community as well.”
Schlechter has helped deliver babies at Saint Thomas for over 25 years, she said in addition to relying on personal protective equipment, the hospital has also restricted visitors.
Pregnant women are an exception, and are allowed to one person in their rooms.
Schlechter also said the hospital has created a separate space for pregnant or postpartum patients that may have COVID19.
“It’s a separate hallway (in Labor and Delivery) with rooms that can be separated off from the rest of it to protect the rest of the patients and the associates,” she said.
Schlechter added that they are also utilizing rapid testing, “We did have a case recently, of a patient who was considered a possibility of having COVID, and we expedited her test. And in fact, her partner got to be in the room for the delivery and she got to be with her baby. It was a really kind of happy ending kind of moment.”
She said that so far, the hospital has had no women in labor and delivery to test positive for the virus.
News 2 spoke to Lauren Cummings, a pregnant woman about to be induced at St. Thomas on early Thursday morning with her firstborn.
Cummings said she appreciates the precautions St. Thomas is taking to keep her and other women safe.
She also shared the sadness that she and other women face; knowing their family members can’t meet their newborn babies right away, “It’s upsetting that my family can’t meet the baby as soon as possible after he’s born, also upsetting that we’re missing out on the once in a lifetime opportunities like taking him to see the Easter bunny for his first Easter.” said Cummings.
Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.