Here is Luna Women’s Wellness and Birth Center:
Position Statement and Policies Regarding COVID-19
As you all are aware, the novel coronavirus or COVID-19 has moved to a Pandemic state. COVID-19 has required fast action by healthcare workers and facilities. Policies are subject to change based on current situation and updates.
Luna WWBC is taking this virus very seriously, as well as the recommendations of social distancing/isolation to keep our mothers and newborns safe. However, because of the nature of our work and the commitment to the safety of our clients and their families, we have come up with the following policies that will take effect immediately and will stay in effect until experts declare that the risk is mitigated. These policies may change as the situation of the pandemic shifts and new information becomes available.
There are so many things that are unknown and haven’t been studied, so we will not pretend as if we have data to back where exactly the safest location to birth during a pandemic is…. we have never practiced during one before. There is a fine line between letting the public know how to access the services available and using a crisis as an advertising opportunity, so we hope everyone knows that we only wish to provide you with the most current data available. We know that maternity providers across ALL service locations are going to do everything within their power to provide the safest conditions for families during this time.
We understand that these are strict measures and that they impact not only our clients, but our staff and entire organization. Our goal is always to be proactive instead of reactive and we hope these measures, and increasing social distancing, will keep our birth center free of COVID-19 and operating as close to usual as possible so that we may continue to offer safe out-of-hospital birth. We strive to keep birth center care accessible without any gaps in provision of care during this time of high demand.
- Illness: If you are sick or think you are getting sick OR if you have traveled within the last 14 days: you need to cancel your in-clinic appointments until further notice. If you have a fever >100.4˚F (38˚C) along with a cough/shortness of breath, you may not come into the birth center at all and will be referred to local hospitals or the Minnesota Department of health (MDH) for current testing recommendations. These symptoms are considered the main testing criteria and are based on symptoms of severe illness. Those with mild symptoms of a cold or flu-like illness are requested to stay at home for 14 days.
- Prenatal/Clinic Visits: we will be limiting in-person clinic visits to New OB clients, One second trimester visit (26 to 28 weeks, for labs), a 36 week visit (for labs). Additional visits per the midwife’s discretion will also be in-person. All other visits will be conducted via telemedicine.
- At this time, we are asking that ONLY the client attend in-person appointments. No other guests/friends/family members may come into the birth center with you for visits. Partners and others are more than welcome to participate in virtual appointments!
- All clients be screened for fever in the entry before they can be allowed into the center. Any person with a fever or otherwise considered at risk will be asked to leave the building and we will help determine a plan for care.
- Clients must wash their hands upon arrival; hand sanitizer is available through out the Center. Please wash hands before leaving as well.
- Face masks will be available and wearing one during your visit is required.
- If you arrive early for your appointment, please wait in your car until scheduled visit.
- We ask that you agree to limit your exposure to people who reside outside your household as much as possible. The more contacts you have, the statistical probabilities of you coming into contact with COVID-19 and passing it to others increases.
- Telehealth appointments: pregnant clients who are already scheduled for an appointment in the next three weeks who do not meet the above in-person visit recommendation will be scheduled for an appointment with the midwife via telemedicine. You will receive an invite link for this visit. You will be asked to check your vital signs prior to the start of the visit, as able: Temperature, Pulse, Weight, Blood Pressure, Fetal Kick Count.
- Postponed visits: In-clinic visits for non-pregnant clients will be rescheduled at this time. You may schedule a telemedicine as needed for refills or acute GYN needs (UTI, vaginal infection, etc. Thank you in advance for your flexibility!
- Birth: the center is open as normal for clients in labor. At the time of birth, we are allowing a partner/support person and a doula. Any variation from that birth team would need prior approval. All members of the birth team will be screened prior to being allowed into the facility for the birth as noted above. Anyone with a fever or otherwise considered at risk will not be permitted to enter and if it is the laboring client, we will need to transfer to the hospital immediately. Everyone present during your labor, birth, and postpartum period is required to wear a mask the entire time they are in the building.
- Home visits: unfortunately, we will be suspending ALL home visits for the time being. Mother/baby dyads will be required to come to the center for their 24-36 hour visit after birth as well as an adjusted interval of mother/baby appointments (now, at one week and 6 weeks). Additional need for visits will be handled on a case-by-case basis, at the Midwife’s discretion. We apologize for the inconvenience.
- Hospital Transfers: Due to risk of exposure to our staff, we will be unable to have the midwife or birth assistant accompany you to the hospital if you are transferred for any reason. We will of course facilitate the transfer per our normal protocol.
- New client tour and orientations are postponed for the foreseeable future. We will conduct orientations via phone or skype-type platform.
- Children: while children appear to not be as affected by COVID-19, we are asking that you leave your children at home if you have an appointment at the center. We understand that children are home since all schools are closed. If you are able to have any child care, we ask that you do so. If your child/ren is/are sick, you will NOT be able to bring them into the birth center and your appointment will be rescheduled for another time or via telehealth.
- In addition to a thermometer that can be used for adults and infants/children, we recommend purchasing an automatic blood pressure cuff if you are able. Consents and educational materials will be available via email or on the patient portal.
As a team, these are some of the ways we are working to protect you:
- Our primary staff has been practicing social distancing and isolating and will continue to do so. We will be decreasing the number of employees working at the center to one midwife. All other employees will be working from home and available to clients via phone and video.
- Luna WWBC employees who are working at the center, including clinical and administrative personnel, will be screened for fever in the lobby with a thermometer every day as they arrive for work. Any staff member found to have a fever will be sent home and isolated for 14 days. Staff who think they are getting sick or who are sick or have a family member/house mate who is sick, will not be allowed to come to work. Staff are requested not to shake hands with clients and their guests and will only touch you for whatever examination is required for your care. Staff members will wash their hands before and after touching a client and as needed in between clients.
- We have spent all of March working staggered times and working from home as much as possible to keep the facility clean and reduce risks to one another of asymptomatic spreading of illness. The only times we are working side-by-side is during labors/births and we are extremely aware of interactions.
- We have entered into agreements with other birth centers and local birth workers for staffing coverage should any one of our locations need assistance due to illnesses.
- We have policies in place for infection control. Our facility cleaning, sterilization methods, laundry services, and practices regarding hygiene have always met or exceeded recommendations.
- We have increased our disinfection/sanitizing between clients and throughout the day in hopes of decreasing any risk of contracting the virus from surfaces. Every surface and piece of equipment will be disinfected between each and every patient contact. Pens will be disinfected throughout the day. We will not be serving tea or coffee. Hand sanitizer is available throughout the center and we encourage you to use it.
- We have policies and practices in place for staff hand washing on entering and leaving the facility, and uniform/clothing laundering to reduce risk of cross contamination between home and work.
- In the face of COVID-19 our uniform policy has become strict to best protect clients. You can anticipate seeing us with eye protection/face shields, masks, and scrubs that are laundered on-site.
- We have created means to provide care via telemedicine for appropriate appointments to reduce traffic in the birth center. Many families will find it to be a relief to reduce their physical contact with others during this time.
We know some may find some of the measures to be overly zealous and we hope that is true. It is important that clients are able to have confidence that Luna Women’s Wellness and Birth Center is doing everything we possibly can to keep the families we serve and our staff safe. Luna WWBC staff are healthy, organized, optimistic, and ready to take action! These guidelines will change, as needed. Please continue to check our website and social media (Facebook and Instagram) for updates on these policies.
We know that we will get through this and your Luna Team is committed to continuing to provide the best care possible. Please reach out to us at anytime with questions or concerns. We are here for you!
Nicolle Uban Ph.D., APRN, CNM
Owner and Midwifery Director
Luna Women’s Wellness and Birth Center