Updated December 29, 2020

In an effort to maintain social distance in the waiting room, feel free to either utilize the classroom when waiting for an appointment or let us know if you prefer to wait in your car and have us text when we are ready to see you.  Please call before coming if you have had any exposure, have tested positive,  or are waiting for a test result.

If you receive a positive test, please call us so that we can discuss symptom management as well as if and when to go to the emergency room.  The following criteria must be met before returning to the Birth Center: at least 3 days (72 hours) have passed since recovery, defined as resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications AND improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g. cough, shortness of breath) AND at least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.

As before, we ask our pregnant clientele to go out as little as possible from 36 weeks on.  While we understand that mask wearing in labor is difficult at best and not required, we are asking that you and your partner consider wearing a mask postpartum in order to provide the maximum protection to everyone in the room.  We do expect your partner to wear a mask in labor.

With two vaccines now available, please refer to the attached information in order to make an informed decision about receiving the vaccine or not while you are pregnant or breastfeeding.  On another note, it is recommended that there be at least a 14 day separation between receiving the COVID-19 vaccine and any other vaccine such as TDAP or the flu vaccine.

New DE restrictions since our last update:

  1. The State is advising Delawareans to stay at home to slow the worsening spread of COVID-19. It does not apply to those traveling to and from work.
  2. People who are indoors with anyone outside their immediate household must wear a mask.
  3. Winter sports competitions are banned from December 14 to Jan 11. Practices can continue with mask wearing and social distancing.
  4. Restaurants and bars must close at 10 PM.
  5. Businesses above 100,000 square feet are limited to 20% of stated fire capacity.
  6. All other businesses, including most retail stores and all restaurants are limited to 30% of stated fire capacity.
  7. Retail below 5,000 square feet, all houses of worship, and funeral services are limited to 40% of stated fire capacity.
  8. Exercise classes at gyms are limited to 10 people, and exercise machines must be spaced 10 feet apart. (As before, masks must be worn at all times).
  9. Indoor gatherings at businesses or indoor spaces open to the public must be limited to the lesser of 30% of the venue’s stated fire capacity or 10 people.
  10. Restaurants must have signage displayed on tables stating parties must be from the same household.

Updated July 13, 2020

Dear Birth Center Families,

Writing once again to fill you in on changes at The Birth Center related to COVID-19.  Beginning this week, we will be going through a list of screening questions with you as you come into the building – in addition to taking your temperature – in order to keep everyone as safe as possible.  Anyone with a temperature of 100 degrees or more OR anyone identified as being at-risk based on their responses, will be asked to return to their car. A midwife or nurse will then be in touch to discuss and reschedule the appointment as a telemedicine visit or an in-person visit at another time and to discuss COVID-19 testing. It will be helpful for you to arrive a few minutes early. 

We are continuing our policy of having only one person over the age of 16 accompany you to your visits (although please consider coming alone).  No children under the age of 16 are allowed.  (We understand that this puts some people in a very difficult situation – if there is absolutely no alternative to bringing a child to a visit, anyone over the age of 2 will be asked to wear a mask.  Please exhaust all childcare options before making the decision that you have to bring your child.)  We take wearing masks very seriously as it is clear that wearing one decreases the spread of the virus.  Please do not ask if you can take it off when you are in an exam room as, by doing that, you are putting our staff at risk. Please wear it properly (covering mouth AND nose). If the mask you have is difficult for you, we are happy to have you try one of ours. We appreciate your cooperation on these points!

Labor support person policy (1) remains the same – the exception is a trained doula. As always, maintain social distance as much as possible, use hand sanitizer as you enter the office and use good handwashing techniques.

In general, avoid visiting areas of the country that are current “hot spots” for the virus. Please consider not “dining out” in an indoor setting at this time.  Research shows that being in an indoor public space with other people without masks for more than 15 minutes is one of the highest risk situations you can put yourself in.  Many restaurants are providing outdoor dining.  We are also asking our pregnant women (aside from medical appointments) to STAY HOME from 36 weeks on, as wearing a mask in labor is practically impossible for most women. This protects both you and our staff who are caring for you in labor. 

This is a trying time – we appreciate your understanding of the need for these measures and look forward to when we can relax them. Stay well!

The Birth Center

Dear Birth Center Families,

We would like to update you on new Birth Center policy changes based on the most current recommendations.  Office visitor policy: If at all possible, consider coming to your office visit alone.  We understand if this is not possible, in which case one other person is allowed (as long as that person is healthy and 16 or older).
Sick policy: Please continue to let us know ahead of time if you are sick or think you are getting sick.
Use the hand sanitizer upon arrival at the front desk.
Labor visitor policy: we are changing the policy to allow one adult support person (not 2) in addition to a doula.
Office GYN visits:  We are rescheduling all well woman (routine) GYN visits to no earlier than June.  If there is a problem or a concern, we will schedule an appointment to see you, either in person or virtual depending on the nature of the problem.  
Pregnancy visits: Your prenatal visits will be a combination of in person visits and virtual visits (telemed) via Zoom.  (If additional visits are needed due to a concern, they can still be arranged)  

  • New OB visit- first visits will occur at 10 weeks. Prior to this, there will be a screening visit if you are new to the practice.
  • If new to the practice your next encounter will be a telemed visit with an RN.
  • Visit at 15 weeks. (telemed)
  • Visit at 20 weeks (in person)
  • Visit at 24 weeks (telemed)
  • Visits at 28, 30, 32, 34, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40 weeks, and thereafter (in person)

The home visit will be on Postpartum Day 2 on the labor side of The Birth Center (instead of in your home), per the American Association of Birth Centers. No more than one adult support person will be allowed at this visit. It is imperative that you check in on days 1, 2, and 3 with your postpartum check-ins. Please make sure you have a thermometer on hand.

The one week postpartum visit will be done via telemed, unless there is a concern.

The six week postpartum visit will be done via telemed, unless there is a concern.

Lactation visits will be done by telemed.

All of our core Birth Center classes (Childbirth Full Series, Mother Infant Assessment, Breastfeeding Basics, etc.) and support groups are now being offered virtually. Please don’t forget to sign up for classes here. A link to join the appropriate class will be emailed to you 24 hours prior. 

Thank you for your continued support as we work to keep our Birth Center families and staff safe. We are here for you and we will get through this together!

March 16, 2020

Dear Birth Center Families,

As you all are aware, the coronavirus has changed quickly from being a concern at the international level to having a significant impact in our local community.  We here at The Birth Center are taking this virus very seriously as well as the recommendations for practicing social distancing to keep our mothers and babies safe.  To this end, we have come up with the following policies that will take effect immediately and will stay in effect until experts declare that the risk is mitigated. These policies may change as the situation

IF YOU ARE SICK (OR IF YOU THINK YOU ARE GETTING SICK)  OR YOU HAVE TRAVELED TO OR FROM A HIGH RISK AREA IN THE LAST 14 DAYS: You need to cancel your appointment until further notice.  If you have a fever > or = 100.4 degrees F. along with a cough/ shortness of breath or body aches you may not come into The Birth Center at all, and will be referred to your PCP and the Division of Public Health.  Those with mild symptoms of a cold or flu-like illness are requested to stay at home for 14 days but at this time are not being tested. In the event that you cannot come to The Birth Center, please communicate directly with a midwife in order to discuss your situation and put a plan of care in place.

APPOINTMENTS: For any appointment (prenatal, postpartum, lactation, or gynecology), if you or anyone in your household is experiencing symptoms of concern (see above) please call our office to determine a plan for care.  When you come for an appointment, please make other arrangements for your children if at all possible in order for us to lessen the risk for exposure of all concerned at The Birth Center. Anyone accompanying you to your appointment must also be symptom free and also cannot have traveled within the last 14 days to or from a high risk area.

LABORING WOMEN: The Birth Center is open as usual for clients in labor with screening to be done during the initial labor call.  We have needed to change our policy to allow only 2 adult support persons, who will also be screened, in addition to a doula if you have arranged for one. 

HOME VISITS: We ask that you minimize the risk to our staff by not having any visitors present when the nurse comes.  If anyone in the household is symptomatic, please notify us ahead of time.  We strongly encourage that you limit your household visitors to the people attending your birth and siblings for the first 2 weeks and stay home, observing the practice of social distancing whenever possible.

ONE WEEK AND SIX WEEK POSTPARTUM VISITS: The one week and six week postpartum follow-up visits will be at The Birth Center as usual with the above precautions in place.

CLASSES, TOURS, MEET AND GREETS: We are temporarily instituting Zoom for classes, tours and meet and greets – this means there will be a live presentation but you will attend via computer or phone. If you are registered for any Birth Center class, you will be contacted with instructions for how to access Zoom.

SUPPORT GROUPS: All support groups (Mom’s groups, breastfeeding support groups, etc.) will be done via Zoom at their regularly scheduled times. We will be sharing a link on Facebook. If you do not have Facebook, e-mail thebirthcenter@thebirthcenter.com to request the Zoom link.

TBC STAFF: To protect our clients, all TBC personnel with the above listed symptoms have been advised not to come to work.  Hand washing remains paramount. While cleaning and sterilization has always been of utmost importance, we have increased our sanitation measures throughout the day.  Toys have been removed from the waiting room and pens at the registration desk are disinfected periodically throughout the day.

PREGNANT MOTHERS: The literature is limited but there have been no cases of mom to baby transmission in pregnant women.  Postpartum there is a benefit to baby receiving breast milk, but precautions need to be taken with direct breastfeeding in women who are symptomatic or infected (i.e. good handwashing and use of a mask). Please click here for more information.

CONFIRMED CASES: If you have a positive test for COVID-19, please call our office and we will develop an individualized plan of care moving forward.

We understand that these are strict measures and they impact not only our clients but our staff and entire organization. Our goal is to be proactive instead of reactive, and we hope these measures will keep our birth center operating as close to usual as possible so that we can continue to offer safe out-of-hospital birth.  Please continue to check our website and Facebook for updates on these policies or contact us with any questions or concerns.