Expecting Mothers

We know you may be concerned about the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and how it may impact your delivery at Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare (TMH). At the Tallahassee Memorial Alexander D. Brickler, MD Women’s Pavilion, ensuring mothers and their babies are cared for in a safe, healthy and caring environment is our greatest concern.

To support and protect our families, we have modified our visitor policy to allow only one healthy adult visitor per mother in the Women’s Pavilion, including the Triage, Labor & Delivery, Family Care and Antenatal Care Units. This one visitor must be the same individual for the mother’s entire hospitalization. We encourage you to discuss this policy with your obstetricians and incorporate it into your birth plans.

For more details regarding what to expect download our labor and delivery frequently asked questions guide here.

 

 

More Information

Frequently Asked Questions

What is your visitor policy? Do you foresee it changing?
Mothers admitted to the Women’s Pavilion are allowed one adult visitor per patient. This one visitor must be the same individual for the mother’s entire hospitalization. The visitor may stay with mom any time of day.

As the situation evolves, there may be additional changes to our Women’s Pavilion visitor policy. We appreciate your patience as we do everything possible to keep you and your little one safe.

What’s the visitor policy if admitted to Triage? 
The visitor policy for Triage is the same as the visitor policy for the rest of the Women’s Pavilion. Moms admitted to Triage are allowed one support person (visitor). This visitor must be the same individual for the duration of your stay. 

Can my support person leave and come back once I’m admitted? 
Yes. At this time, mom’s support person can leave and return to the Women’s Pavilion for essential activities, like caring for children or pets. However, we encourage visitors to limit entries and exits as much as possible to reduce the risk of community exposure.  

Does my doula count as my one visitor?
Yes. If you choose to have a doula present for your delivery, your doula will count as your one visitor for the duration of your hospitalization.

We understand that doulas can be a source of great support during this exciting and potentially stressful time. As a healthcare team, we support our patients’ right to choose non-pharmacologic means of pain control. Our nurses are well versed in providing options to our patients. We encourage patients to work with their doulas on how best to manage their symptoms during labor. Examples of non-pharmacologic methods to decrease pain include: walking, using a birthing ball, relaxing in the tub, music, meditative breathing, massage and warm packs, just to name a few.

Is food allowed to be delivered to the Women's Pavilion? Is the cafeteria open?
Yes and yes! You can have food delivered to the Women’s Pavilion, however, you will need to arrange for your support person to accept the delivery outside of the Women’s Pavilion entrance. Outside delivery personnel are not currently allowed on the patient floors.

Our cafeteria, Café 1300, and the Women’s Pavilion Gift Shop are also currently open for visitors to purchase food, drinks and snack.

Can my support person leave to pick up and bring back food?
While your support person is allowed to leave and return to the Women’s Pavilion for essential activities, we strongly encourage you to have food delivered or purchase from our on-campus options to limit unnecessary entries and exits and reduce any risk for community exposure.

What is the standard amount of time for staying in the hospital? Is it reduced due to COVID? 
The amount of time mom and baby spend in the hospital following birth has not changed! While the timing will vary on a case-by-case basis, most moms who’ve had vaginal births spend two days in the Women’s Pavilion after delivery, while moms who’ve had cesarean sections usually spend two to three days.  

Will my support person and I need to wear a mask while in the Women’s Pavilion and during my delivery?
Yes. Out of an abundance of caution and for the safety of all moms, babies, visitors and staff, we are asking all moms to wear protective face masks any time there is another person in the room with you, as well as while being transported and while in common areas. This does include during labor, as long as you can tolerate wearing a mask (e.g. you can breathe comfortably and wearing the mask does not cause any irritation or obstruction). Please note you will not need to wear a mask while alone or sleeping!

We know the thought of wearing a mask during your delivery may be stressful for you, but we assure you we are here to support you every step of the way.

Visitors must also wear masks at all times. If you and your visitor do not have a mask, one will be provided upon entry to the Women’s Pavilion.

Are you testing moms prior to birth? 
Every patient, as well as their one visitor, is screened for COVID-19-related symptoms before entering the Women’s Pavilion. If our staff determines there is concern for the health and safety of our patients, staff or other visitors, mom will be directed to be further evaluated and potentially tested for COVID-19.

Please note that visitors who do not pass their health screening may not be allowed to visit the Women’s Pavilion.

Will COVID-19 impact my cesarean section?
Cesarean sections will continue to be performed where indicated after a discussion between the patient and her provider. Additional precautions are in place to protect patients, their supports persons and the healthcare providers when COVID-19 is known or suspected. Appropriate steps are also in place to protect our healthy patients and their support persons.

Does TMH separate mom and baby if mom tests positive for COVID-19 at the time of the birth? 
When mom is suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19, we continue to practice rooming in – the practice of mom and baby remaining together in the same room after birth – with enhanced precautions in place, including strict handwashing and mask wearing. This is in line with current recommendations from the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and allows mom and baby to benefit from the evidence-based benefits of breastfeeding and skin-to-skin.

Are there enough nurses and doctors to provide great care?  
Yes! Our Women’s Pavilion is well staffed to care for moms and babies through every step of the delivery and recovery. We recognize what a challenge it is to not have your full support system physically present for the birth of your child. We see it as our job to step up and fill that role – we’re not just your care team, we’re a support system too. Our team of highly skilled caregivers – including physicians, certified nurse midwives, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, lactation consultants and other medical professionals – are here to provide compassionate care and support for you and your little one every step of the way.

With in-person tours cancelled, how can I prepare for what to expect at the Women’s Pavilion?
While we’re unable to offer in-person tours of the Women’s Pavilion at this time, we have created a virtual tour to help you prepare for your delivery. The virtual tour is available at TMH.ORG/WhatToExpect.

What should I pack and bring to the hospital for my birth?
Download our recommended packing list! Also remember to bring protective face masks for you and your support person. If you and your visitor do not have a mask, one will be provided upon entry to the Women’s Pavilion.

What should I expect when I arrive for admission?
When you arrive at the Women’s Pavilion, you will check in at the security desk, where you and your support person will be asked to complete a health screening. Then, you’ll take the elevator to the second floor and enter our main lobby. When you arrive for delivery or to be seen for a medical concern in Triage, you will check in here. Please make sure to have your ID and insurance card available.

Completing your pre-admission paperwork as early as possible in your pregnancy will ensure that your records are ready when it is time to have your baby. Download Pre-Admission Form.

Our Women’s Pavilion virtual tour explains this process, as well as what to expect in our Triage, Antenatal, Labor & Delivery and Family Care Units, in detail. View the Virtual Tour.

Are you currently offering newborn photography in the hospital?
To prevent unnecessary entries and exits from patient rooms, we are not currently offering in-hospital newborn photography.

We do, however, encourage moms to take plenty of their own photos and videos and stay in touch with loved ones outside of the hospital via virtual means like FaceTime, Zoom and Skype. Your care team will discuss our photography policy with you upon admission.

Can my children visit me in the hospital?
The visitor policy allows for only one healthy adult visitor; therefore, children are not permitted access to the Women’s Pavilion at this time. This is for the safety of our patients, families and staff. We encourage you to call, FaceTime or use the platform of your choosing to make those connections with your children during your hospitalization.

What do I do if I have respiratory symptoms and am currently pregnant?
Please refer to Leon County Department of Health, the CDC and/or TMH.ORG/Coronavirus for the most up-to-date information regarding screening and evaluation of patients with respiratory symptoms.

In general, if you have non-emergent respiratory symptoms (with no concerning signs or symptoms related to your pregnancy), please call your primary care provider to determine if you should be tested for COVID-19 or another respiratory illness.

If you have respiratory symptoms and obstetrical concerns including, but not limited to, loss of fluid, vaginal bleeding, contractions or decreased fetal movement, please call TMH’s Labor & Delivery Triage Unit at 850-431-0150 to let us know that you are on your way, so we can have staff prepared to meet and escort you to a patient room for further assessment and evaluation.

As always, if you have any obstetrical concerns and/or have been directed to the Labor & Delivery Unit by your provider, please proceed to the Women’s Pavilion. We are here and happy to help 24 hours a day.