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COVID-19 | Changing Hospital Care

Worried about changing hospital policy in the face of COVID-19? Me too. As a the founder of Labor of Love, Orange County’s premier doula agency, we have been doubling down on our efforts to understand, educate and support our community in this uncertain time.

As many of you know, Labor of Love works very closely with the Midwives of Orange Coast Women's Medical Group (OCWMG), with their collaboration, we have put together several resources concerning this moment.

First and foremost, for the most up-to-date information on pregnancy and COVID-19 please refer to these links:

To better understand the changes in local hospital policy, I spoke with Lisa Sherwood, MSN CNM, of OCWMG.

Lisa wants to remind pregnant families that currently the risk is very low at contracting COVID-19 as long as families are practicing the following:

  • Stay at home and only attend essential appointments.

  • Wash your hands throughly for 20 seconds.

  • Stay hydrated.

  • Avoid social contact as much as possible at this time. This means no dinner dates with friends or family.

  • Invest in your rest and reduction of stress.

  • Try to have others go to stores for you and bring essential items to your doorstep.

Lisa wants to avoid patients getting sick as much as possible. And, ensure that their birthing space is protected.

This is the most up-to-date information about the changes at Saddleback Memorial:

  • Only laboring persons are allowed to enter through the Women’s Hospital during the day.

  • The laboring person is allowed one support person for the safety of all patients.

  • Those entering the hospital will be asked questions upon arrival and have their temperature taken.

  • If entering at night, entrance is still through the ER.

In speaking with Lisa it is clear that things are changing everyday as this situation unfolds in Orange County and that she has every bit of confidence in the systems put in place by OCWMG and Saddleback Memorial to protect all patients.

In addition, I was able to speak with Allison Molinski, MSN CNM, one of the midwives at OCWMG formally known as Laguna Beach OBGYN and midwives that works through Mission Hospital. She has informed me that Mission Hospital is taking the following steps as well:

  • During daytime hours patients use the entrance through the main.

  • During nighttime hours laboring persons will also be able to enter through the main lobby and not the ER.

  • The laboring person is allowed one support person for the safety of all patients.

  • Those entering the hospital will be asked questions upon arrival and have their temperature taken.

  • Currently, the birth suites are not available.

Allison also feels very confident that Mission is moving in positive ways to ensure the safety of all its patients. She wants to ensure all OCWMG patients will be will taken care of and their birth plains will be supported just as before.

Most all Orange County hospitals are not allowing visitors and only letting one support person in. If you have further questions about your specific hospital, that is not noted above, I encourage you to be proactive and call your Labor & Delivery Unit.

Questions to ask:

  • How has COVID-19 changed the admission process?

  • What procedures are in place to keep me safe?

  • What should I be prepared for and expect at the hospital?

  • How many cases are active at the hospital?

  • How close are these cases to the Labor & Delivery ward?

  • What additional precautions has the Labor & Delivery ward taken since the outbreak?

  • How risky is this? Am I more at risk shopping at the grocery store?

I want to encourage you to ask the questions you need to feel safe and confident about walking into this moment.

We are all thinking about you and Labor of Love is here if you have any questions. I hope that this has been useful.


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