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Safety Zone: Having a baby soon? We’ll keep you safe.

Safety Zone
Aug 7, 2020

Here are some steps the Telfair BirthPlace at Candler Hospital is taking to keep expecting moms and newborns safe from COVID-19

This is definitely an uncertain time.

What is certain? You’re having a baby.

What else is certain? St. Joseph’s/Candler will keep you safe.

Yes, your maternity care during the COVID-19 pandemic may look a bit different than normal conditions. Meredith Scaccia

But, our dedicated team of expert nurses and physicians are the same and their commitment to providing safe and effective care to every patient has not wavered.

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“We are taking every precaution to ensure that our patients, families and staff are protected,” says Meredith Scaccia, Director of Women’s and Children’s Services at the Mary Telfair Women’s Hospital. “While much is still being learned about COVID-19, the health and safety of our pregnant patients is and always has been our top priority.

“Every birth is unique, and we will continue to provide a safe environment during the most important moments in a mother’s life.”

Here’s what to expect when delivering at the Telfair BirthPlace

Before you arrive at the hospital, we want to make sure you are aware of a few additional precautionary steps we are taking at this time. We have a number of procedures in place for all patients and support persons, which includes restrictions on visitation in most areas. In Labor and Delivery, you are allowed one support person.  

Visitors: In Labor and Delivery, you are allowed one support person during your stay. No other visitors or guests are allowed. Your support person cannot switch out with others throughout the day either. We also encourage that person to stay the entire time with you.

We recommend bringing your cellphone and cellphone charger for photo and video opportunities during your stay at the Telfair BirthPlace.

Screening: Immediately upon arriving at the entrance of any of our buildings, you and your support person will have your temperature checked. You and your support person will continue to have your temperature checked each day of your stay.

You also will be asked a series of questions that may include:

  • Do you or your support person have a fever or signs and symptoms of lower respiratory illness, such as cough or shortness of breath?
  • Have you or your support person experienced any nausea, vomiting or diarrhea?
  • Have you or your support person had close contact with a laboratory confirmed COVID-19 patient or symptomatic person within 14 days?

Masks: They are required to be worn at all times. Hospital-provided surgical masks will be given to both mom and support person throughout their stay.

Masks are required during labor unless mom has significant breathing difficulties or a medical condition that precludes it.

“These measures help maintain the safety of all involved and limit the spread of any potential infectious illnesses,” Scaccia says. “Our staff is dedicated to keeping you safe.”

All nurses, physicians and other support staff at the Telfair BirthPlace always wear masks and any additional PPE as necessary. All staff members are trained on proper hand hygiene and other infection control measures.

COVID-19 expecting mothers

Across the country, expecting moms have successfully delivered healthy babies even after being diagnosed with COVID-19. St. Joseph’s/Candler is prepared for this situation if it were to occur at the Telfair BirthPlace.

Any mother with a confirmed COVID-19 case or who is experiencing symptoms will be supported in taking all the precautions to avoid spreading the virus to her infant. Your medical care team will discuss options with you that are right for the health of you and your baby.  In fact, the nurses caring for COVID-positive patients will not at the same time care for patients who have not tested positive.

Like many areas across the health system, St. Joseph’s/Candler has built separated, dedicated space at the Telfair BirthPlace for moms confirmed or suspected of having COVID-19. This allows for her safety, as well as the safety of all other patients on the floor.

Helpful resources

At St. Joseph’s/Candler, we continue to follow the guidelines and recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) across our health system. The Telfair BirthPlace additionally consults with The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) for reliable information.

Please consider these links that are up-to-date and trustworthy for more resources for mom and baby:


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