Olympia OB/GYN Heroes: Babies Born During a Pandemic

Babies are born when they are ready, not when a pandemic says so. For over two years, dedicated medical personnel tackled coronavirus challenges to deliver them safely. That’s true of the team at Olympia Obstetrics & Gynecology (OOG) as they work with patients at the office and welcome babies at the Family Birth Center at Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia.

“We love moms and babies,” said Dr. Darrel Bell. “The virus hasn’t changed how special each delivery has been. I thank all those who protect mothers and babies by wearing masks and practice social distancing.” Providence’s Family Birth Center welcomes moms and an essential support person in the delivery room which, for many patients, creates an intimate experience. These individuals are screened upon entry; moms are also tested. Masking goes without saying in healthcare facilities.

Expecting a newborn adds stress to an already challenging time in a family’s life. As they care for moms and their babies, OOG and Family Birth Center staff work together to maintain the highest standards of care and safety for their patients and families. The goal is to keep newborns with their mothers in their rooms, as a basic tenet of infant and family-centered care.

Occasionally, separation is necessary because infant care cannot take place safely in the mom’s room. This is rare. An average of 100 babies a month are delivered by OOG’s medical staff with positive patient feedback.

OOG is using technology to keep everyone safe. Carie Bussey, Certified Nurse-Midwife with the clinic, said, “We’ve discovered a lot of silver linings. Healthcare workers have been forced to hop on the telemedicine effort. We’ve been able to quickly adopt what works for us and patients enjoy some benefits while remaining safely distanced. OOG utilizes a telehealth system that ties the visit to the patient’s electronic health record. Patients receive a link via email or text and can access us through their mobile phones, iPads and desktops.” As a patient, you can request telehealth if you feel ill and your type of visit works with telehealth parameters.

Deb Cannon, practice manager at the clinic, said, “We are a big family and have worked hard and been successful in keeping COVID from coming into and spreading within our facility. It is a blessing to have a less virulent strain of COVID at this time.” OOG anticipates continuation of masking and social distancing within their healthcare facility for the foreseeable future.

Olympia Obstetrics & Gynecology