By now, you have heard about the highly contagious novel coronavirus and its associated disease, COVID-19.
COVID19 is a viral infection that travels via droplets into the lower segments of the lungs and can be deadly.
It is especially dangerous for those who are 60 years and older and/or immunosuppressed and/or have chronic diseases such as: diabetes, hypertension, asthma, cancer, etc.
It is important to understand that aside from droplet transmission, COVID19 can be found within the urogenital and gastrointestinal tract and lives on surfaces, such as, fabric, cardboard, wood, and different metals etc. and takes its time to disappear from these surfaces.
SOME SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF COVID 19: fever, cold, cough, shortness of breath, and gastrointestinal disturbances.
SOME SEVERE FEATURES OF COVID 19: spitting up blood, severe chest pain and difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, difficult keeping down liquids/dehydration/dizziness, become confused
COVID-19 has officially been declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO). The Brooklyn Birthing Center (BBC) is very concerned by the rapid progress of the COVID-19 outbreak and is monitoring updates daily to help inform our decision-making related to our patients, birth workers, as well as our committed staff.
Given the recommended social distancing and home quarantine, to lessen the spread of the contagious virus, we want to ensure that the BBC continues to provide the best medical care and hope to provide a safe space for the newborns and their mothers. The BBC has implemented interim health and safety protocols that might be adjusted on an ongoing basis, to protect our patients, staff and birth workers.
We understand that we find ourselves in stressful times for which no one has been well prepared for nor expected it. The BBC is doing its best to address all COVID-19 questions that arise in a timely fashion, please keep on checking our website for updates.
COVID-19 interim health and safety protocols – Effective Wednesday, March 18, 2020:
- All Well-Woman/GYN/Family planning visits will be rescheduled to the Fall of 2020.
- If you are not pregnant but experiencing a health issue that needs to be addressed, please call our office as we will be utilizing tele-visits for as many of those appointments as possible. Of course, if it is an issue that requires a visit, we will accommodate that.
- Our triage staff will be in close communication with the midwives to make these determinations.
- PRENATAL VISITS will continue but our check in process and some of our office policies will be changing:
- Be advised the BBC midwife team will call you 24-36 hours prior to your prenatal visit to review the interview portion of the visit, your medical history, via Tele-visit/phone. The actual visit at the BBC will only entail: fever checks, vitals, blood work, glucose test, vaccine administration and fetal heart rate monitoring.
- When you arrive for your appointment, please call us from your vehicle or when you are a few blocks away and a staff member will complete the check-in process over the phone.
- The BBC will NOT be utilizing our waiting room area. We will call you when we are ready to take you back into the clinical area. Please make sure we have your appropriate phone number on file. The BBC office number is: 718-336-4119
- The BBC asks that you come to your appointment ALONE.
If you have an appointment where you need a support person (such as a partner or family member), please discuss with the BBC. Once the person is vetted, he/she has to be over the age of 18 and must be completely well and displaying no respiratory symptoms whatsoever.
- NO children will be allowed at appointments at this time. We understand this makes things difficult with schools being closed but it is a step that most offices are taking, and we feel it is in our patient’s best interest to bring as few people into the office as possible.
- The BBC will only operate office visits during regular business hours.
- If you have upper respiratory symptoms, please call the office before coming to your appointment. DO NOT just show up.
- There will be NO fees charged for canceling appointments.
- There will be NO tours of the birth center at this time. We are exploring the option of virtual tours.
- LABOR AND DELIVERY at the BBC.
- Prior to arrival the midwife team will do TELEVISIT TRIAGE to determine the best time to arrive at the BBC.
- People in labor and anyone who comes to the BBC cannot have any signs and symptoms of COVID 19: Fever, upper respiratory symptoms, etc.
- Upon arrival, all shoes must be left right by the entrance doors. Hands must be washed. We recommend that people bring a fresh set of clothes to wear while at the BBC and pack their street clothes away.
- Anyone coming to the BBC must remain in the birth/labor room with the laboring person during the duration of labor, birth and postpartum. The BBC will not be utilizing any of the waiting areas for patient’s families and/or children at any point.
- You are only allowed, three (3) support persons: partner, family member and/or birth worker . Support persons will be allowed to leave the room to go to and from the bathroom or to go outside, but they cannot sit in the waiting area at any time. Everyone must be well and exhibit no respiratory symptoms or fever whatsoever.
- Within the triage room only one person is permitted. If the midwife needs to monitor the laboring person, the support people need to leave the triage room.
- Immediate postpartum: BBC’s procedures and protocol as of now stays the same. Patients should be expected to be at the BBC for 4 to 6 hours postpartum
- Postpartum Home Visits need to be determined on a case to case basis. The BBC might ask from the patient to come to the BBC vs the midwife coming to the patient’s home. Tele-visits will be conducted prior to determining the plan.
- 4-6 week postpartum BBC visits: postpartum history will be conducted via tele-visit and the rest of the visit will be conducted just like a prenatal visit (please see the points above).
- There will be NO in-person classes conducted at the birth center.
- PORTAL messages: please keep portal messages to medical questions only and office related questions, please call the BBC main line during office hours and the BBC office manager will assist.
- BBC EMERGENCY line is for urgent medical matters and/or labor related questions only.
- We do not offer COVID-19 testing at our office but will refer you to an appropriate place based on your location if you call and report symptoms to us.
The BBC understands that these actions may seem drastic and may cause stress. However, the BBC is following the
guidelines of the CDC, the Department of Health and Human Services, as well as our coalition of birth centers nationwide. The BBC is doing its best to respond to this global crisis. All of this information is subject to change
based on international and local recommendations.
Our patients’ and our newborns’ health are of utmost importance to the BBC team.
The BBC will continue to provide the most peaceful and positive birth experience possible under these difficult circumstances.
Please call our office with any questions and be patient as we expect the lines to be busy.
Thank you for trusting us with your health care.
Your BBC health care team!