COVID-19 UPDATE

Think you have COVID-19 symptoms? Use this self-assessment to help determine how to seek further care. 

This video helps educate the public on ways to stay healthy during this pandemic and explains:

  • What COVID-19 is and how it spreads
  • What to do if they are feeling sick or are worried about exposure
  • How to stay healthy and stop the spread

Great article from the Globe and Mail about social isolation rules. 

The COVID-19 pandemic is changing the way care is being provided by midwives, and the College of Midwives of Ontario have created an FAQ page that is frequently updated. You can also check out the Association of Ontario Midwives page.

During this pandemic we have two goals:

  • To keep our clients, families and our staff safe
  • To keep our midwives healthy so they can remain in the workforce, providing care to all of you.

In order to fulfil these two goals, we will need to alter how we provide care to our clients.

Below are some of the changes:

Cancellation of large gatherings: Our public events like our information sessions, breastfeeding classes and home birth info sessions are cancelled. We will be moving to introducing an online format.

Reduced “traffic” at the clinic: We ask that you come to your clinic appointments with as few people as possible, preferably only 1 support person. We are not making hard and fast rules but if you can come alone, we ask that you do this. We ask that you leave children at home when possible.
 
Restrictions on who enters the clinic: People in the following groups, are NOT PERMITTED at the clinic:
  • Anyone exhibiting signs of illness including fever, chills or cough
  • Anyone who has travelled in the last 14 days
  • Anyone who resides with someone who has travelled in the last 14 days

Changing the flow of people at our clinic: We are making the following changes to reduce transmission:

  • All appointments will be virtual – our administrator will send a link for our secure, virtual clinic for your appointment
  • We will be running all in person assessments on Thursdays (10 min slots) where the midwife will be wearing full PPE
  • If you have had a home birth before, we will NOT be doing prenatal home visits. 
  • We will be deferring all Pap tests until the COVID crisis passes.
  • We ask that people keep social distancing (a distance of 2 meters) with our administrator and speak to her from the clearly marked designated area.
  • We ask that people use hand sanitizer on arrival, while supplies last.

Recommended schedule for prenatal visits: We will use the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines on the number of prenatal appointments for a positive outcome:

  • First Trimester (10-14 weeks): 1 visit
  • Second trimester: Two visits e.g. one between 20-24 and one between 26 –30weeks
  • Third Trimester: More frequent visits in the third trimester as follows: at 30, 34, 36, 38, 39 and 40 weeks.

Please note our administrators are dealing with multiple issues simultaneously so please be kind if things are not dealt with immediately.

Hospital births: The hospital has initiated strict visitor limitations. Currently, you may have only one person with you during your birth and postpartum stay. That person may be with you at any time of the day or night. Grandparents and children, including siblings of the new baby, are not allowed to visit the hospital at this time.

During this time when hospital resources are scarce, we are asking that if you are stable and able, to strongly consider early discharge from hospital after you give birth.

Home Births: We will continue to offer choice of birthplace. Home birth can be a great way to keep people and their babies out of the hospital, however, we need to be certain that every person requesting a home birth is a good candidate for home birth (ie. low risk of complications). If any household members are sick or have screened positive for COVID-19, midwives will not be able to attend you at home and will request that the birth occurs in the hospital where there is a supply of masks and gowns.

Continuing Updates:
There are changes happening every day as the pandemic is evolving. We are hopeful that the measures taken by the Canadian government to reduce travel, close schools, and cancel large events will slow the spread of COVID-19 and allow the healthcare system to properly care for those who need it. We will do our best to keep you up-to-date as time goes on.

We know it can be stressful to deal with situations like this, especially while you are pregnant or have a new baby at home. Our hope is that you remain healthy and calm in the weeks ahead.

Immediate Links to resources

If you would like information about COVID please refer to these two gov’t sites:

Niagara Public Health

Ontario Govt

We want to remind people that this a time for people to band together and think about the collective good. It may not be business as usual but we have a great deal of resources and for this we are grateful.