COVID-19 Updates, Information, and Resources
Updated: July 6, 2021
Below is information about Covid-19, including changes we’ve made to our clinic as a result of Coronavirus, changes made at KGH, current best practice guidelines, and additional resources. We will try to keep this page as up-to-date as we can. As always, the health and safety of our clients is at the top of our minds as we contemplate best practice during this time.
We have made the following changes to our clinic in order to help slow the spread of Covid-19 – to protect all our clients and the entire community.
Prenatal and Postpartum Clinic Visits:
We will be continuing with the BC CDC recommendations for the timing of antenatal visits as follows:
- Initial Visit 6-8w – virtual (Zoom or telephone)
- Clinic Visits for all remaining visits unless a client is sick or symptomatic:
- Clinic visits every 4-5 weeks until 28 weeks
- Clinic visits every 2-3 weeks from 28-36 weeks
- Clinic visits weekly from 36-41 weeks
For more information relating to prenatal visit recommendations, please visit this link: http://www.bccdc.ca/Health-Professionals-Site/Documents/COVID19_AntenatalVisitsDuringPandemic.pdf
If anyone has any additional risk factors in their pregnancy this schedule may change depending on clinical situations. You can always email or set up a zoom appointment with your midwives if you are needing additional support or have further questions and need some extra time to discuss further.
Guidelines from Interior Health and the Ministry of Health maintains that masks should be continued to be used in health care settings and we are encouraging clients to continue to wear their masks while in clinic if possible. The BC Government does recommend to wear a mask in all indoor settings until fully vaccinated.
Due to the decreasing (!!) COVID case counts in our region we are now welcoming partners or a support person back into the office! We do ask that you only bring one support person with you, and if possible, to please leave older children at home. We are unable to bring back our kid’s nook/toy area and are unable to properly sanitize this between visits – so please if you can try to leave your older children at home. If this is not possible, please be aware that your child will need to be able to sit with you at all times. If your child is unable to NOT touch surfaces, we will ask your partner/support person to wait outside with them.
- Masks are recommended.
- Please continue to wash or sanitize your hands upon entering clinic.
- Your partner or a support person is now welcome back in the office but will be required to maintain social distancing. Please do your best not to bring your older children to clinic appointments.
- If you have any symptoms of cold or flu, or if anyone in your household does, please do not come to the office, you will need to reschedule your visit.
We greatly appreciate your support and understanding during these challenging times so we can continue to provide you safe care. We are hopeful that come September masks may no longer be recommended in health care settings.
Before Face-to-Face Visits/Appointments:
We are kindly requesting that everyone do a self check for cold and flu symptoms prior to your clinic appointments or home visits. If you are experiencing any symptoms of illness, we recommend you contact your midwives to reschedule and you plan to organize a Covid swab. As we work with vulnerable populations – pregnant women and newborns – we are unable to attend clients with any cold/flu symptoms until we know for sure that you are covid negative or 10-14 days after onset of symptoms and your symptoms are improving. If you have any questions or concerns, or are unsure of whether you need to reschedule/test please do not hesitate to reach out and contact us to discuss further! You can also upload the BC Covid-19 app at: https://bc.thrive.health/ to self-check your symptoms.
Births at KGH
For the health and safety of all hospital patients, KGH has instituted the following changes:
- Masks continue to be mandatory in the hospital while walking through hallways, etc. Birthing people are not required to wear a mask while admitted in labour, unless they are symptomatic or covid positive.
- KGH is still requiring all admitted patients to be swabbed for covid on admission – this can be the nasal swab or gargle.
- Only 1 support person is allowed to attend each labouring person. Accredited Doulas are now allowed, as well as partners! This means you may have your partner and your doula now. However, they must be the same person(s) for the entire duration of the L&D stay – ie no other visitors or switching in and out.
- No friends and family are allowed in the waiting area on L&D
- No visitors are allowed on Postpartum Ward. Only parents are allowed into the NICU.
- Please continue to use the Main Entrance or Centennial Entrance when accessing KGH.
Home Birth/Malachite Suite Birth
- We ask you to limit the amount of support persons at home. We are currently absolutely happy to have doulas as part of the home birth support team, and 1-2 other support people, including partner. But request no friends and family that do not need to be present. If you or anyone of your home is symptomatic we will be recommending a hospital birth. If the birthing person is symptomatic at time of birth the safest location is the hospital.
- We currently have a large influx of clients requesting out of hospital birth and we will do everything we can to accommodate those. However, we are limited in number and do need to have 2 registered midwives available for every out of hospital birth – if there are not enough midwives available (due to increase in work load or from illness) we may request you birth in hospital.
- We are strongly encouraging anyone thinking about out of hospital birth not to choose this based out of fear of the hospital. Home birth is safe for low risk individuals but may not be for everyone and does require more home work, supplies, and planning than hospital.
- Malachite Suite is still available to rent and Kelowna Midwives are encouraging clients to consider suite birth if wanting out of hospital as we have more control there in terms of infection control and cleaning/sterilizing. However, we do recognize that there is an added fee for this, Malachite has kindly offered to discuss financials and offer sliding scale for those desiring suite birth but may not have the funds. Please contact them directly to discuss financials and for booking the suite.
Postpartum Home Visits
- We are happy to continue to provide postpartum home visits during the first 1-3 weeks at home.
- It is important to stress that if you or anyone in your household has any symptoms of cold/flu, your midwives will not be able to enter your home. If you are symptomatic at the time of labour, you will be expected to come into the hospital for your birth so that your midwives will have access to full PPE and Covid presumptive protocols – we are unable to provide home birth for anyone that is symptomatic.
- This is the same expectation for the postpartum visits and your midwife cannot enter your home with any household members exhibiting any cold/flu symptoms.
General Pregnancy, L&D, and Postpartum Guidelines regarding Covid-19
The 3 leading organizations for Obstetrics and Gynecology have recently published Covid-19 practice advisories. You can read them here:
Other tips and information:
BC’s Response to COVID-19
COVID-19 and Pregnancy: Information at your Fingertips
Canadian Surveillance of COVID-19 in Pregnancy: Epidemiology, Maternal and Infant Outcomes
Please find latest information on COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy and while breastfeeding:
The consensus seems to be: “For individuals who are at high risk of infection and/or morbidity from COVID-19, it is the SOGC’s position that the documented risk of not getting the COVID-19 vaccine outweighs the theorized and undescribed risk of being vaccinated during pregnancy or while breastfeeding and vaccination should be offered.”
These statements give you a little more information to help inform your decision on whether or not to get the vaccine. It’s about balancing risks and benefit and what your exposure may be like at work, etc.
It is important to note that for the majority of people that get covid, the symptoms appear to be mild. However, if a women contracts covid during pregnancy it does have other consequences in terms of increased surveillance during pregnancy, etc. Currently the recommendation is that if a woman develops covid at any time in pregnancy then they would need to do a growth scan as soon as the quarantine is completed and then growth scans every month until delivery. We are also recommending hospital birth and continuous monitoring of babe during labour no matter when someone contracts covid during pregnancy.
I am pregnant or breastfeeding. Should I get the COVID-19 Vaccine?
Are you Pregnant and working outside the home? SOGC Statement on Pregnant Workers during the COVID-19 Pandemic:
Thank you for your understanding during this time. We recognize that this is a changing situation, and our guidelines may change to reflect best practice recommendations as they continue to evolve. Please do not hesitate to call our office at 778-436-8060 if you have any concerns.