Waiting mothers at the San Giuseppe Hospital in Milan will be able to continue the online birth accompanying courses. And, if they go to the hospital, they can take advantage of an ad hoc route with a dedicated lift to directly access the outpatient clinics and wards of the Maternal – Child Department. In case of coronavirus, pregnancy does not in itself involve the risk of a worse prognosis: the virus is not transmitted from the mother to the fetus but it is essential to follow the measures aimed at containing the contagion, valid for the whole population.
And in fact hundreds of requests, including phone calls and e-mails, have been received at the Ospedale San Giuseppe in Milan because, as indicated by ministerial indications, the birth support courses have been suspended and many women now feel lost, without that important moment of confrontation, not only with the midwife but also with other pregnant women, represented by the so-called prenatal course.
To respond to the SOS launched by mothers and not make them feel lonely in this difficult historical moment, at St. Joseph’s they are getting ready: the last outstanding prenatal course will be completed in teleconference mode and the next ones will start directly online. In addition, in order to make people feel even more protected and new mothers who go to the hospital, a course and a elevator have been set up for them, to directly access the outpatient clinics and departments of the Maternal – Child Department.
“With these measures we want to reassure our patients first of all”, underlines Stefano Bianchi, Head of the Maternal-Infantile Department of the San Giuseppe Hospital in Milan and Associate Professor at the University of Milan. “With regard to specific fears related to the coronavirus, the data we currently have are not very many but fortunately they are quite unique in saying that the virus is not transmitted during pregnancy and even childbirth does not seem to be a critical moment: there is therefore no contraindication to the vaginal one. Another good news is that, unlike other viral diseases that see pregnancy as a period of increased risk for the mother (such as flu and chickenpox), in case of coronavirus, being pregnant does not in itself carry the risk of a worse prognosis. Finally, it is very important that even pregnant women and new mothers follow the rules valid for the general population, aimed at counteracting the spread of the infection”.
“In these last days, among the women who are approaching the end of pregnancy there is no longer only the fear of childbirth but also the fear generated by the coronavirus emergency and feeling lost is deleterious”, explains Cinzia Piola, chief midwife of the San Giuseppe Hospital. “On the social networks our patients have expressed all their concern, because they no longer had the reference point of the course accompanying the birth. Just as companies have equipped themselves to allow smart working, we thought it was worth doing something similar to offer pregnant women the opportunity to stay in contact with each other and with the midwife of their course. A teleconference group has been set up to complete a course that has already started, while new ones will leave directly online”.
“In addition, for pregnant women and new mothers who go to hospital – continues Piola – after the body temperature check (which is performed by default on all incoming people), an ad hoc route has been set up, including a dedicated lift, to access the delivery room, the inpatient ward and the neonatology department, with the aim of reducing contact with other patients/users of the hospital as much as possible. Visits were also limited to one family member (the husband), as a safety measure for women and hospital staff. Of course, it is not so easy to get it accepted: because the joy of the birth of a child would be shared with the whole family. The positive aspect, which we are trying to make understood, is that these days in the hospital can be a special moment, all for mum and dad, to spend with their child”.
“We thought, then, also about those new mothers who, for this emergency situation, can live with even greater intensity the apprehension of having their baby in their arms, of having to feed and protect it. Therefore, we have not suspended the post-birth outpatient visits, but we are organising ourselves to distribute them better throughout the day, so as to guarantee adequate safety distances. On the other hand, obstetrics cannot stop, not even in front of the coronavirus: the babies, fortunately, continue to be born and claim our attention,” concludes Cinzia Piola.
For information and enrolment in online prenatal courses, please contact the Sportello Nascite of the Ospedale San Giuseppe in Milan: email@example.com.