Dear Blue Heron Midwives Families and Friends,
Blue Heron Midwives are thinking about all of our families out in the community during this challenging time.
Blue Heron Midwives are keeping abreast of the situation and have implemented some changes to your care. Thank you for your continued patience as we navigate through this uncertain time.
The most current information guiding our decisions can be found on this link https://www.ontariomidwives.ca/sites/default/files/IPAC%20Protocols/2020%2003%2019%20CMOH%20Directive%202%20-%20RHPA%20professionals%20.pdf
The challenge we face is defining what are essential services for pregnant and post-partum women. We are ensuring that women are seen frequently enough for quality care, but limited to essential visits to keep everyone as safe as possible. The World Health Organization and our own Association of Ontario Midwives have been paramount in helping us define what “essential” actually means to us and for you.
The changes we have made are as follows:
- All clients please call the office the day of your appointment before coming in for your appointment to prescreen. If you do not call ahead, be prepared to be screened as you enter the clinic.
- Screen yourself and your family members, and DO NOT come into the office if you have recently travelled, are experiencing a cough, fever or shortness of breath or if you have been exposed to someone who is experiencing these symptoms. If you are unwell, please call us and a midwife will contact you to make alternate arrangements for your care.
- Based on the guidelines set out by WHO and the Government of Ontario recommending that you wear a face covering when physical distancing is a challenge, we are asking all our clients and family/support people to wear a face mask during all visits both in office and at home. Please refer to this poster for more information: https://files.ontario.ca/moh-coronavirus-face-coverings-en-2020-05-20.pdf
- For efficiency and safety, we are striving to avoid using the waiting room and get you in efficiently and get you back to your home as quickly as possible. Please arrive on time for your appointments. If you have extensive questions, consider requesting these to be answered by a member of a midwife team over the phone. Non urgent questions can be left at the office by phone 519-954-0300 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- As much as possible, please limit the number of people coming into our office. If possible, please have only pregnant clients, postpartum clients, and babies enter the building. Family members who would like to participate may do so via phone. Try to avoid bringing young children except in situations of extreme difficulty accessing childcare. Please let the office know ahead of your appointment if you have such challenges.
- When you arrive at your appointment you do not need to check in with our administrator if you have called ahead to be screened over the phone. Please use the hand sanitizer by the entrance coming into our clinic. We are aiming that a midwife will be ready to bring you into the clinic room upon your arrival, if this is not the case, please take a seat.
- You do not need to check in with our administrators after the appointment. Please phone or email to book your next appointment. Please use hand sanitizer on the way out of the office.
- We have reduced the frequency of prenatal visits to the essentials that is reflective of the World Health Organization or better.
- We have increased home visits for postpartum care to up to two weeks so that you may remain in your home with your baby.
- We ask that you contact our office if you are experiencing any cold or flu-like symptoms and DO NOT come to the Blue Heron Midwives Office if you are unwell. Telephone our office and we will make a separate care plan for you individually.
- At this point, Grand River Hospital is closed to all visitors, The Childbirth Unit is still allowing 1 support person to be present. This support person does not include your midwifery team as we are hospital staff but would include any private doula you may have hired. There is a screening process for entering the hospital which like everything is changing frequently. Please check: grhosp.on.ca/care/services-departments/childbirth
- Unfortunately we have had to stop all group care, so the Connecting Pregnancy Program and New Baby Time has ended for now. Also our lending library is closed. Please hold on to any books you may have out until further notice. However, please stay tuned for updates about client led groups supported by Blue Heron Midwives.
- We have increased our social media presence @blueheronmidwives on Instagram and Facebook as well as our website https://blueheronmidwives.com/. We are regularly posting the latest information to keep you informed. Please also take advantage of these platforms and feel free to reach out to each other electronically. Social distancing is our new normal, but please use other means to ensure that social distancing does not equate to social isolation for you.
- For safety, we have reduced contact with our administration staff, but they are extra busy organizing your care. Clinic phones may not be answered Monday to Friday directly due to this. Please leave a message. Your questions will be addressed. Email is also available email@example.com.
- Public Health is recommending glove use, gowns, eye shields, and masks for health workers when assessing symptomatic patients. This will most certainly be the practice should you require an assessment and are symptomatic. Public Health is not recommending these supplies be used for routine care with well pregnant and postpartum clients and babies. We are trying to be judicious with our supplies. We have enough supplies for unwell clients for now, but new supplies are on backorder. Any concerns you may have regarding this can be further discussed with a member of your midwifery team.
- We know that pregnant women may be a vulnerable group during this outbreak. We encourage social distancing as a precautionary measure. Please help us keep our community safe by practicing social distancing as recommended. As more information becomes available, we will be in contact.
- What has not changed: Your midwifery team is there for you. If you have an urgent concern, or labour concerns our pager is still on 24 hours a day: 519-571-3905.
Non urgent questions will still be answered. Leave us a message at our office 519-954-0300 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
As always, we will offer informed choice and choice of birthplace.
Take care and stay safe! Elbow bumps!
The Blue Heron Midwives
Ann, Kaitlin, Michelle, Monica, Nikki, and Shirley