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Visitors and Other Concerns

At WakeMed, we support patient-centered care and take seriously our responsibility to keep all patients (mom as well as newborn baby), staff and providers as safe as possible during the current pandemic. Here, we've answered common questions, so you know what to expect during labor and delivery.

Can a pregnant woman who is asymptomatic and not showing signs of COVID-19 have a support person during labor?

Yes, laboring women will continue to be allowed one support person each, as long as the support person screens negative for influenza like illness. Support persons are encouraged to remain in the hospital for the entire stay. However, if they choose to leave, they cannot return until the next day and would be screened per our current protocol.

Can a pregnant patient under investigation (PUI) or COVID-19 positive woman have a support person in labor?

Yes, we will provide PPE (a face mask which must be kept on continuously) for one support person in labor. However, that person would also be considered a person under investigation and once that person leaves the hospital, he/she would not be permitted to return. We will work with WakeMed Food and Nutrition on each campus to purchase/obtain food for support persons. WakeMed will not provide personal items for support persons. They will need to provide their own personal care items: towels, clothing, medication, phone chargers along with any other items they would need during their stay. Once they leave the room, they will be expected to leave WakeMed property. They may pick up the patient upon discharge at the discharge designation.

Can a support person accompany an asymptomatic patient to the operating room (OR) for a cesarean section?

Yes, we will continue to allow one support person to accompany the patient for a cesarean section. This would be the same support person who initially presented with the patient.

Can a support person accompany a PUI or COVID-19 positive patient to the OR for a cesarean section?

No, we will not provide PPE for a support person in the OR for a PUI or COVID-19 positive patient. A support person may be present in the postpartum room. The support person would be considered a PUI and would be confined to the patient’s room (with a face mask which must remain on continuously) until leaving the hospital. No further visitors would be permitted during the hospital stay once the support person left the patient’s room.

Can pregnant women continue to have doulas?

Yes, the laboring patient may have one support person and one doula in the room during labor and delivery. It's also possible to receive remote support from a doula. Many doulas have launched virtual birth assistance programs. Patients may find it helpful to have their doula assist them at home prior to presenting to WakeMed Labor and Delivery and in the postpartum period. Doulas may also communicate through Facetime, Zoom, Skype or another video conferencing platform during labor.

Can a patient still use Nitrous Oxide as a labor analgesic?

No, there is insufficient evidence about the cleaning, filtering and potential aerosolization of nitrous oxide in labor, so we've currently suspended use at WakeMed facilities.