TULSA, Okla. - Staff at Hillcrest South Hospital in Tulsa said the number of babies they're delivering hasn't changed much but policies have.
Although there are stricter guidelines due to COVID-19 concerns, there are some positives, according to staff and patients.
Miranda Bly compared her pregnancy experience five years ago to the one during this viral pandemic: No baby showers, no showing off the baby bump in public and no visitors at appointments.
The labor and delivery experience is different for many expectant mothers, too.
"The nurses and the doctors try to make it as normal as possible, but like, I was still alone,” said Miranda Bly. “It was, at labor and delivery, I knew I couldn't have my five-year-old there, and she won't ever get to see the birth or get to hold her the day she was born."
She gave birth to baby Lexi Jean Thursday at Hillcrest South with her husband, Jeremy Bly, as her only visitor, but “big sister” did get to FaceTime to see the baby.
"She's so excited to meet her, and it's going to be a few days before she does," said Jeremy Bly.
Rhonda Fletcher, a registered nurse at Hillcrest South, said hospitals around the country follow CDC guidelines, such as screening and taking temperature of all staff, patients and visitors.
Fletcher said everyone wears masks and must wash their hands often.
There is also a negative pressure room in case a patient is suspected of having COVID-19, according to Fletcher.
Fletcher said in her 25 years of being a registered nurse, she's never experienced anything like this, but most patients have been understanding.
"Especially for first-time moms, it's very difficult and scary, and they're very thankful they can have that one support person,” said Bly. “And we've been getting positive feedback about the care that they've received."
Miranda Bly said it’s been hard not being able to have more family by her side, but with more time alone, mothers have extra opportunities to bond with their new baby.
"There's so much going on that's so unknown, but like when I get to see her, I get, ‘It's OK and it's going to be OK, and we're going to get through this,’” said Bly. “And your baby, she doesn't know anything else right now."
Doctors and nurses recommend that moms and their babies try to avoid going out in public and having visitors for as long as possible just to be safe.