MURRAY — The birth of a child is undoubtedly one of the happiest days in many women’s lives. However, with the spread of COVID-19, safety measures and regulations are changing what happens when these mothers-to-be show up at the hospital.
Before the pandemic began, mothers could have several support people in the delivery room – even whole families. As of Friday evening, they are only allowed one person, and that person has to be perfectly healthy.
Speaking from her hospital bed at Intermountain Medical Center in Murray, Jen Lloyd was all smiles.
“Look at these chubby cheeks,” she said showing off her new daughter, Winter, via video chat.
Winter is one of Utah’s newest residents.
“She was born at 9 p.m. Thursday and weighed in at nine pounds, 13 ounces,” Lloyd said.
Winter was born during a time of uncertainty in the world, but she was born healthy and with zero complications.
Lloyd, now a mother of four, said the weeks leading up to her daughter’s birth weren’t full of nesting and getting the house prepared, but full of confusion and concern.
“In fact, my doctor went out of the country and had to be quarantined for 14 days,” she said.
However, the thought that bothered her the most was if her husband would be allowed by her side during the birth — something that’s already happening in places like New York City.
“It’s just the unknown because I’ve watched more and more restrictions go into place,” she said.
Originally, Lloyd was told she would be allowed to have two support people.
“Then within a week they told me I could only have one and that visitor had to be completely healthy,” she said.
Normally not an issue, but what if that support person has something as simple as a runny nose?
“(My husband and I) were in the car I told him if he needed to clear his throat or anything he should do it now,” she said.
Her husband, Nick, fortunately passed the screening to get into the hospital.
“The thought of maybe not being able to be there for the birth of my child was really nerve-wracking,” said Nick Lloyd. “I’ve had to blow my nose once since I got here and I went into the bathroom, closed the door and had to be really quiet about it.”
Although it’s been tough not having any other family around this mother is grateful for a little ‘Winter’ in early spring.
KSL TV reached out to Intermountain Healthcare regarding the regulations in place.
“Our number one priority is the protection of these little babies, our new moms and our caregivers,” said Dr. Lexi Eller.
Intermountain plans to not make any changes to the ‘one support person rule’ through the weekend.
“I want women to know that the hospital is safe,” said Eller. “I know it’s hard to think of only having one support person but we’re living in a time where we have to be adaptable.”
- To help mitigate infectious transmission of COVID-19, health care officials advise anyone who thinks they might have the virus to first call their doctor before going to a hospital
- Wash hands thoroughly and often
- Stay home if you’re feeling sick
- Don’t touch your face
- Cough or sneeze in your elbow or a tissue
- Patients with COVID-19 typically have a fever, cough and shortness of breath, though asymptomatic transmission is possible. If you believe you may have the virus, speak with a healthcare provider.
- Utah’s COVID-19 website is https://coronavirus.utah.gov/.
- Intermountain Healthcare has created a COVID-19 symptom tracker for individuals worried they may have the virus.
- Utah’s COVID-19 information hotline is 1-800-456-7707.
- People are asked to first call the University of Utah Health coronavirus hotline at 801-587-0712 to determine if testing is absolutely necessary.