Charlotte Corrie Poos will have quite a story to tell when she’s older about the timing of her birth.
Charlotte, born on April 28, is one of about 700 babies who have made their entrance into the world on the Women’s and Babies Unit of Niagara Health’s St. Catharines Site during the COVID-19 pandemic.
When her mom, Tina, learned she was pregnant, she never could have imagined she would be giving birth during a global pandemic.
However, any worries she may have been feeling about the pandemic were quickly eased by her physician.
“My doctor was very reassuring and said that everyone at the hospital would take precautions for me and my baby,” says Tina, a Jordan Station resident. “I felt very reassured by that.”
Like every other area of our hospital sites, Niagara Health has infection prevention and control, and other measures in place to keep our patients, staff and physicians safe on the Women’s and Babies’ Unit, including:
- Allowing only one support person during labour, birth and the postpartum period.
- Staff wearing the appropriate personal protective equipment, practicing physical distancing as a much as possible and meticulous hand hygiene.
- Pre-screening all patients who have planned appointments/procedures at the hospital to ensure everyone is healthy and well.
- Supporting staff with ongoing education and training on COVID-19 considerations and implications during pregnancy, birth and newborn care.
- Working closely with Niagara Region Public Health’s Healthy Babies Healthy Children program to ensure our families continue to be well supported in the community after discharge.
When Tina and her husband, Chris, arrived at the hospital in April, they went through the screening process everyone does at the front entrance, before making their way to the Women’s and Babies’ Unit.
“Everyone was kind and polite. The first nurse we met was very reassuring about everything, explaining that everyone was taking precautions and washing their hands. I felt very good about everything and comfortable,” says Tina. “The nurses in my room were so nice. They made me feel at ease about everything. I could see they were taking all of the precautions. It was a great experience. They took great care of us.”
While she wished she could have had visitors in the hospital after Charlotte was born, Tina says, “I understood because the precautions were keeping me and my newborn safe. It was just me and my husband for those first 24 hours, which was nice and we enjoyed that time with Charlotte, just the two of us. It was really special.”
Tina and Chris used FaceTime to introduce Charlotte to her two brothers, ages three and five, and other family members.
“It was nice that we could at least reach them that way,” she says.
Aside from the healthcare team wearing PPE and the No Visitor Policy, Tina says she didn’t notice a difference between Charlotte’s birth and the delivery of her sons.
“The care was great. Yes, they were wearing masks, face shields and gloves. But everyone was wonderful. I wouldn’t know there was a pandemic happening.”
It’s a busy household for Tina and Chris – with a newborn, a three-year-old and a five-year-old.
“I thought I would have a different kind of maternity leave, where I would have one child in Senior Kindergarten and the other one in pre-school for a couple of days each week. I thought I would have a little bit more time to sleep,” she says with a laugh. “But it is what it is.”
Read The St. Catharines Standard story on Charlotte's arrival here.