Madison Hospital prepares for labor and delivery during pandemic


MADISON, Ala. — It is possible for anyone to get the COVID-19 virus, but the World Health Organization says right now, there is no evidence that pregnant woman are at a higher risk.

“There is no increased risk for pregnant women to get COVID-19, nor do we know that they get sicker with it,” said Kristine Taff, a nurse at Madison Hospital and a certified lactation consultant.

She says the hospital understands the fear surrounding the virus, and they are constantly looking to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the most up-to-date guidance.

“All pregnant women need to be taking care of themselves, washing their hands, staying six feet apart from anyone looking for symptoms,” said Taff. These are the same prevention measures set for everyone else too.

Many are wondering if they should brave the Emergency Room if they are about to give birth. At Madison Hospital, there are precautions set in place to keep everyone safe who enters.

“We have a tent where they are screening,” said Taff. “They’re taking temperatures and screening for symptoms, just like the employees. They’re taking our temperatures as we come in to make sure that we don’t have symptoms and that we don’t have fever.”

If someone is symptomatic, Taff says that person is immediately masked and isolated. They are not with the general public in the ER.

The nurse also adds that if you are close to giving birth, do not worry and change your plans.

“I don’t want anyone to panic and feel like they have to change their plan, or their provider, or plan for a home birth is that’s not what they wanted,” said Taff. She adds that even now, during a pandemic, you will get excellent care.

“If you are pregnant and having a baby soon, don’t worry,” said said “You’re going to get the same care you always did.”

Only one support person will be allowed inside the room with the pregnant mom during labor and postpartum. Taff said the rule is set in place to protect the mom, the baby, and everyone involved.

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