Thanks a lot H1N1: Limited Visitation by children at area hospitals
We delivered a little guy about three weeks ago at Legacy Emanuel Hospital. The one night we spent at the hospital, we spent in our room along with our two other children to allow our new family of five to begin to get to know one another. A couple of nights later, another friend of ours delivered their second child at Legacy's Good Samaritan Hospistal. They, too, spent the night at the hospital as their new family of four.
When visiting together earlier today, my mama friend reported to me that Legacy would have a new rule in effect: no children under 18 may be visitors in the family birth centers because school-aged children have higher rates of exposure to the flu. In addition, only two immediate family members or support persons could be present at the birth and during the mom's stay.
Apparently, Legacy isn't the only one. The Providence Health System is also instituting the same policy at all of its establishments, effective October 9, 2009. An urbanMama recently emailed:
I am heartbroken!
I'm due to give birth on October 26th with baby boy #2 at St. Vincent. I've been so looking forward to my 3 year old son getting to meet his brother for the first time at the hospital. For the entire 9 months, I've had this vision in my head of my husband bringing my son into the room and being able to show him his brother for the first time. I want "that picture" of big brother holding little brother at the hospital, like almost every other mother in America has. Now, because of concerns over the Swine Flu that will not happen. I'm just sick with disappointment.
Don't get me wrong, I don't want to put anyone at risk and I think it important that everyone is kept healthy, especially in the hospital environment. But I wonder if there is a place on the maternity ward floor where babies could meet their siblings? I've already called St. Vincent to ask, but so far there is nothing. I will call and talk with the head nurse on Monday.
Are there any other urbanMamas struggling with this new "visitation restriction" policy. I understand that every hospital in the metro area has adopted it including OHSU. I would love to hear what others have to say.