Having a baby for the first time, in the middle of a global pandemic, can feel daunting. It’s the reality for hundreds of thousands of expecting families every day. New protocols are being taken from the delivery room to new families’ homes to limit the exposure of coronavirus.
NBC 7 spoke with first-time parents Mary Travis and Adrian Talamante about their experience.
"I was expecting family to be there (at the hospital). Everyone coming to see you, holding the baby, and celebrating life. But it kind of got put on hold,” said Travis.
Travis and Talamante welcomed Harper Rae Talamante on March 17. She weighed 8 pounds and was 19-inches long.
"When we went into labor, security was there (at the hospital). Everyone was being screened, and our temperature was taken," Talamante explained.
The pair learned only one person would be allowed in the delivery room with Travis.
"I definitely wanted my mom there because I didn't know what I was doing. My mom, her mom, her sister, and my sister were going to be in there. They were all very sad when they heard the news," said Talamante.
But then another challenge came up, Travis had to undergo an emergency cesarean section.
"Her (Harper’s) heart rate dropped. That was really scary. I'm just glad I was able to have Adrian with me,” Travis recalled.
Healthy baby Harper and Travis are recovering well but can't have visitors and don't know when that will change. For now, the new family is enjoying FaceTime calls with loved ones.
"I can just hear the joy of my mom's voice every time I send her a picture. She's probably taking it the hardest just because she really wants to meet her," said Travis. “Just having her (Harper) is the best thing ever. I'm just really happy she's here.”
NBC 7 checked in with Sean Daneshmand, MD, the medical director for Maternal Medicine at Scripps Clinic, to find out what expecting parents need to know ahead of delivery amid coronavirus concerns. He said, so far, there are no reports of coronavirus being passed from mother to baby and said the virus has not been found in amniotic fluid or breast milk. But Dr. Daneshmand warns, if a mother is infected with the virus, she will be considered ‘high risk’ for preterm birth.
Dr. Daneshmand said there is still very little data associated with pregnant women and the virus.
“If mom is exhibiting any flu-like symptoms and is feeling like she’s having some contractions, palpate your abdomen. See if you’re having any tightness that comes and goes and if you’re having that more than four times in an hour, call your doctor’s office,” said Dr. Daneshmand.
He also advises expecting mothers to stay home and avoid anxiety.
Each hospital is treating delivery differently, but most doctors are encouraging only one person to be in the delivery room during labor.