Dear Clients of Midwives of Mississauga,
We’d like to take this opportunity to communicate with you about plans we have made to continue to provide safe care to you and your families during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Your health and our health remain our top priorities. Your midwives will follow all relevant public health and hospital guidelines related to providing care to you and your newborn.
What if You Have Symptoms?
If you develop symptoms of COVID-19 such as fever, cough and/or shortness of breath, please do not attend your clinic appointment. Please use the decision-tree below, and call the clinic to make alternate arrangements regarding your ongoing care.
In-Person Clinic Visits
Starting this week, we will begin to make changes to the schedule of routine prenatal appointments, in alignment with recommendations from the World Health Organization (WHO) and Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada (SOGC). For most clients this will be achieved by moving your next appointment rather than rescheduling current appointments. This will limit your risk of exposure by having you come to clinic less often.
When in-person clinic visits are not possible or appropriate, we will offer alternative solutions. You will continue to be able to access your midwives via team email and pager for telephone contact for urgent concerns. We will provide routine care via telephone or video-conferencing where appropriate to make sure you are staying informed and receiving the same level of care as you would be in-person. We will be communicating any changes to your appointments via email and/or telephone.
For in-person clinic visits, we ask that you use hand-sanitizer immediately upon arriving, and report directly to admin staff for screening questions. During these exceptional times we would ask that you refrain from bringing additional visitors to our office, especially people you do not plan to bring into your appointment with you. We would appreciate other children remaining at home whenever possible. All clients and visitors entering the clinic will be screened. Modifications to this policy will be permitted as warranted for care and compassion in special circumstances.
Our Hospitals, Trillium Health Partners Mississauga Hospital and Credit Valley Hospital
The Birthing Units at our hospitals are equipped with the items required to care for pregnant people with COVID-19. If a pregnant person develops more severe symptoms, their care could be moved to another area of the hospital in close consultation with other physicians.
The hospitals have initiated strict visitor limitations. As of Monday, March 16/2020, visitors will be screened prior to entry, and visitors who are determined to be at-risk of potential COVID-19 infection will be asked to return home and will be provided with information to contact Public Health.
You may have up to two support people with you during your birth. Your support people will be given wristbands (non-interchangeable) and may be with you at any time of the day or night during your birth and postpartum stay. No other visitors are allowed. Children under 16y, including siblings of the new baby, are not allowed to visit the hospital at this time. The hospital will consider exceptions to these rules for care and compassion in unusual clinical situations.
Home Births and Home Visits
We will continue to support your choice of birthplace. Home birth can be a great way to keep people out of the hospital. However, we need to be certain that every person requesting a home birth is a good candidate for home birth (ie. low risk of complications). If any household members are sick or have screened positive for COVID-19 or are in a period of quarantine, midwives will not be able to attend you at home and will request that the birth occurs in the hospital.
Your midwives will call you before your routine postpartum home visits, to ask pre-screening questions for you and all members of your household. At that time, we will discuss many aspects of your care over the phone. The following in-person visit will be shorter, and we request that the visit be done with as few people in the room as possible. If there is any illness in the home, or if there are members of your household who have travelled outside of Canada in the last 14 days, your midwives will wear personal protective equipment (PPE) for the duration of the visit (gown, masks, goggles, gloves).
Midwives will follow strict self-isolation protocols per public health and hospital guidelines if they are at risk of COVID-19 or if they screen positive. This may mean that your visit or birth could be attended by a different midwife, if that is deemed to be the safest option for you and your newborn.
There are changes happening every day as the pandemic is evolving quickly. We are hopeful that the measures taken by the Canadian government to reduce travel, close schools, and cancel large events will slow the spread of COVID-19 and allow the healthcare system to properly care for those who need it. We will do our best to keep you up-to-date as time goes on.
Expect to hear from us occasionally with updates, and to coordinate any clinic appointment changes. You can also follow us on our website (www.MidwivesofMississauga.ca/resources/Covid-19Updates), twitter (@MidwivesofM) and facebook (www.facebook.com/MidwivesofMississauga).
We know it can be stressful to deal with situations like this, especially while you are pregnant or have a new baby at home. Our hope is that you remain healthy and calm in the weeks ahead. Your midwives are here for you, and remain committed to your safe and healthy pregnancy and birth.
All of us at Midwives of Mississauga
Summary of things that you can do at this time
- Practice social distancing – avoid crowded places and unnecessary travel
- Wash your hands, try not to touch your face, and reconsider hugging and handshaking
- Avoid contact with sick people and stay home when you are sick. Cough or sneeze into your shoulder or arm, or a tissue
- If possible, come alone to your clinic appointments to avoid extra people in our waiting room
- On arrival to our clinic, clean your hands with hand sanitizer and report directly to the admin desk
- Avoid contact with family members who have returned from international travel for 14 days
Peel Public Health 905-799-7700