FBWC's COVID-19 RESPONSE:

Updated 5/17/21

 

MASKS ARE STILL REQUIRED!!

The COVID threat is not over, despite statewide "opening" and Doucey's recent lifting of the mask mandate in Arizona. FBWC will continue to follow local and CDC guidelines for health care facilities.   

FBWC is continuing to recommend mask-wearing and social distancing/isolation per CDC guidelines to keep our parents and newborns safe. However, because of the nature of our work and the commitment to the safety of our clients and their families as well as the safety of our staff and their families, we have come up with the following policies that will stay in effect until experts declare that the risk is mitigated. These policies may change as the situation of the pandemic shifts. 

                                                                                                                                            

  1. Symptoms: if you have any of the following symptoms, you need to reschedule your appointment: fever >100.4˚F (38˚C), chills, cough/shortness of breath, loss of taste/smell, muscle pain, headache, and/or sore throat. Anyone with mild symptoms of a cold or flu-like illness are requested to stay at home. You may request a phone visit any time.                         

  2. Clinic visits and appointment timing: we will be continuing to limit certain in-person clinic visits but are now seeing folks more regularly in our usual downstairs clinic space.  

  3. Testing: all clients are required to get a PCR test through Coconino County at or around 38 weeks pregnant. They have testing sites at Coconino Community College and at the NAU Fieldhouse. Being Covid + at or near the time of labor risks a client out of our care and transfer of care for a hospital birth is initiated. So, we do recommend isolating yourself as much as possible as you get closer to birth so we do not have to initiate a transfer.                                                                     

  4. Clinic visit guidelines:  All clients (and partners) MUST wear a mask that completely covers mouth and nose to your appointment. All clients and their partner will be screened upon arrival.                                                                                      

    1. Telehealth appointments: we will continue to conduct phone check-ins for 16 weeks, 26 weeks, and 30 weeks.

    2. In-person visits:  All other visits are now in-person visits and partners are welcome to accompany the client.

    3. Preconception, Annual Well-Visits, and Gyn care visits: only the client is allowed at those appointments.            

  5. Birth: the center is open as normal for clients in labor. Only the laboring client and their spouse/partner will be allowed in the birth center. If you have a professional, certified doula that has been verified by our staff, they are also allowed. The FBWC birth team will be wearing masks and other personal protection equipment during your birth. The spouse/partner (and doula if present) must also wear a surgical mask that covers both mouth and nose but the laboring client does NOT have to wear a mask when in active labor. Home births are suspended at this time.

  6. Water Birth: All clients are able to labor in water, for as long as they desire. We are now allowing water births after a completing a thorough discussion on risks during the prenatal period, and during the birth if needed. Covid viral particles are found in fecal matter and when pushing, the client, newborn, and staff are potentially exposed. 

  7. Home visits: we have suspending home visits for the time being.                                                                            

  8. Classes: all in-person classes in the birth center continue to be suspended. Instructors have created video classes that are live on the Zoom platform.                                                                                                                                     

  9. Support Groups: Nursing Nook is now on Zoom and other groups are on Zoom as well.                                        

  10. New client tour and consultations: We have a virtual tour so families may attend from home. Consultations with Dr Paula are on the phone until further notice.                                           

  11. Children: No children are allowed at the center until further notice, this includes using the restroom so please plan ahead!                                                                                                                                                                  

  12. High Country Lactation Center and Milk Depot: at this time, HCLC is doing both in-person and telemedicine visits via phone or Zoom for any lactation questions and/or difficulties. We can still accept milk from donors who donate. 

Adapted from our sister CABC accredited birth center, Dar A Luz, in Albuquerque New Mexico. 

 Thanks to the efforts of Coconino County, the entire staff is now vaccinated and we  have weekly in-house testing for staff. Once we understand the potential impact of the viral variants as well as any potential surges from spring break activities and the lifting of the mask mandate, we may slowly begin to reconsider some of the adaptations above. We ask that you continue to stay tuned and trust that we are working very hard to strike a balance between staff and client safety and our desire to provide our best possible care. Thank you for your continued patience! 

COVID VACCINE UPDATE:

FBWC does not have a stance on whether you should receive the COVID vaccination or not, as we believe that this is a personal decision. What we can tell you is that the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has written a practice bulletin, most recently updated on 2/4, that does encourage getting the vaccination while pregnant or lactating - especially if you are a frontline/essential worker - despite not having current data on pregnant/lactating patients. Their reasoning is that COVID has been associated with increased severity during pregnancy and so any risk that may be associated with receiving the vaccine is less than the risk of getting COVID during pregnancy. Both Pfizer and Moderna are now conducting clinical trials on pregnant and lactating patients so we will have even more data soon. If you do choose to get the vaccine, it is recommended to report any and all side effects or concerns to the V-safe app. In many instances, a representative from the CDC will call you to follow up. The University of Washington is also conducting current studies and they can be emailed at covidvaccpreg@uw.edu for more information.