Here are 10 questions to ask your provider and delivery unit prior to your estimated due date regarding Covid. Things change daily so make sure you take notes and revisit these as frequently as you need to.
Be sure to not only ask just one question -- you should ask this list of questions to both your provider and the delivery unit. While both have updated protocol, each perspective and exposure is different. You will get a broad picture of each question which should bring a better understanding.
1) Do I need to pre-register or fill out paperwork prior to delivery?
Most hospitals require pre-registration paperwork. Prior to Covid, it would normally be a form you could mail directly to the hospital. In many cases, this process has become digital. Make sure you get it filled out early and confirm how you will know if everything is completed.
2) Do I or my partner need a negative test prior to being in labor?
If baby is coming, the hospital will admit you to labor and delivery. With that being said, many hospitals have designated spaces now for Covid positive patients. Also, if you end up with a scheduled induction or c-section, you will most likely have to take a Covid test the week of your appointment. Here is the thing, each hospital is different. Your OBGYN can put your mind at ease so just ask what the protocol is.
3) Are you allowing my partner to be at the birth?
Having your partner with you during this pivotal moment in life is probably at the top of your concern list. At the beginning of the pandemic, hospitals were forced into lockdown with the rest of us. Thank goodness we are moving in the right direction and most, if not all, hospitals have loosened their restrictions.
4) Are you allowing a doula or second support person?
Valid question! Gone are the days of everyone being available and hanging out in the waiting room. This is a vital question to ask and the answer varies from hospital to hospital. Also, make sure to ask about special circumstances and alternatives to make it all work for you.
5) What if my Covid test is positive?
No one wants the positive test, but it definitely does happen. Find out protocols before you take the test so you don't lose sleep over it. After all, sleep will be hard to come by in the near future.
6) What is your hospitals policy on breastfeeding or rooming in if I have a positive test?
Your mother's instinct to protect your baby from Covid is a real thing--but what do you do if you are the one with Covid? Hospitals have spent the last year coming up with protocols for all of these scenarios.
7) Can I bring my own food?
Whether it is a craving or for comfort, sometimes we just want our own snacks. Best to ask ahead of time if outside food and drink are allowed.
8) Is food provided for my partner? Or can they leave to get food?
Everyone has to eat! But, especially with Covid restrictions, your partner may not be able to come and go as easily. Find out the protocol for them to get food too.
9) What is the discharge timing? How long should we plan to stay? Has it changed because of covid?
Surprise! Some hospitals want you in and out during a pandemic. Others may stick to the same protocols. Don't be caught off guard and plan ahead for an early discharge.
10) Are you offering any of your extra services virtually? Stork/hospital tours? Classes? Postpartum lactation help?
The world as we know it has been forced to pivot to a virtual setup. Find out what services are available to you so that you can be educated, informed, and most of all, comfortable with your upcoming delivery.
Looking for an online option for childbirth classes? Make sure you checkout our Prenatal Companion course. It is self-paced, all online, and will prepare you and your partner for delivery.
Sign up for our monthly newsletter and receive your free Postpartum Survival Guide! It has guidance on nutrition, recipes, self-care, and more! Everything you need to survive the fourth trimester.