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COVID-19 Information for Birthing Mothers

Prenatal, Delivery and Post-Partum Care

Because of the special needs of pregnant and birthing mothers, there a few specific different steps we are taking for prenatal visits and labor and delivery at Vanderbilt Health and baby+co. Otherwise, the same policies apply as do for other patients.

  • Prenatal visits: We encourage telehealth prenatal appointments when possible. When an in-person appointment is required, one adult (age 16 or older) may accompany the mother. Both must be screened before each visit. This is also true when you come to an ultrasound at a Vanderbilt location.

    Baby+co.’s prenatal appointments differ slightly, and the full policy can be found here.
  • Doulas and partners at birth: 1 adult and 1 certified doula may be present in labor and delivery in Vanderbilt University Adult Hospital and baby+co. (subject to screening). The partner can accompany the mother to postpartum and should be the same person with the mother for the entire stay.
  • Masks: All patients are expected to wear masks except when alone in their room, while eating or sleeping. We know wearing a mask during labor can be difficult. If you have specific concerns, discuss them with your provider. Newborns are not masked.
  • Mother-Baby Care: Newborns remain with mothers except when rare circumstances, such as severe illness or fever, make it safer for babies to be separated.  Breastfeeding is encouraged after appropriate hand and chest hygiene.

    Staying Safe During COVID-19

    Staying safe is essential. So is your health.

    From masks and screening to limited visitation and "social distancing," we're taking a careful approach so we can continue to provide the important healthcare you need, safely.

    Visitation in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

    Specific guidelines have been implemented in the NICU:

    • In the case of twins, 2 parents/guardians can be present in the NICU at one time, 1 at each bedside.
    • While the mother is in the hospital for post-partum care, she and another parent/guardian or designated support person may visit. However, visitation may be restricted to 1 person at the bedside depending on activity in the unite.
    • In case of mothers/parents with a C-section or other physical challenge, situation-specific exceptions may be made.

    Updated Aug. 5, 2020