Choose Wisely for Childbirth. Choose NOCHS.

Few situations are as complex as having a baby. It can be both wonderful, but also worrisome at the same time. And in these extraordinary times, Moms are having to add another layer of uncertainty to the mix, by giving birth in the midst of a pandemic. We understand how daunting that can feel. That’s why we want you to know about all the precautions that NOCHS is taking so that moms can have their babies safely at the hospital.

First things first. You should know that NOCHS had very few COVID-positive patients in the hospital. In fact, of all hospitals in the region, NOCHS has had the smallest number by far. Still, we are completely equipped and prepared to safely care for not only those patients, but ALL our patients, no matter what part of the hospital they are in. This includes the Family Birthing Center.

So what are we doing to keep moms, babies and support people safe?

  • Testing. Every mom who comes to NOCHS to deliver a baby is tested for COVID-19. We can process the test in-house in about 45 minutes.
  • Screening. Each mom is welcomed to bring one support person with her, provided they are not COVID-positive or symptomatic. That support person is screened every time he or she enters the hospital, and must wear a mask. (In fact, we’re reminding moms to have a backup, just in case their first choice person doesn’t pass the screening.)
  • One-Stop Service. Our Family Birthing Center is designed for a comfortable experience. The benefit right now is that our design also supports your safety. That’s because everything happens in one room. Moms are in labor, give birth and recover all in one room. Your baby stays with you in your room. Your support person may stay with you in the room (we provide a pullout bed for just this purpose). You will see a minimal number of different staff because you stay in the same place.  In fact, we ask that moms and support people stay in the room and let us come to you if you need anything!
  • Minimizing visitors. A mom may have two visitors per day (including her support person).  Those visitors are screened just like everyone else, and they must wear a mask.
  • Separation. We can divide our Family Birthing Unit into two parts so that, if necessary, patients with COVID-19 are on a different side of the floor. If we have a mom with COVID who needs a C-section, we will perform that procedure in our designated COVID operating room (which is on another floor).
  • Personal Protective Equipment. All of our staff wears it, all the time. We are also obsessive about hand washing.

In fact, patients go out of their way to tells us just how incredibly safe and supported they are, and feel, in our Family Birthing Unit.

Baylee Holloway is living in Grand Haven with her parents while her husband is deployed overseas. On April 22, she chose to come to North Ottawa for the birth of her first child. She said, “I couldn’t believe the care I received. I was a first-time mom, so I was scared. But at North Ottawa, they cared on a deep level.  I received so much attention and such excellent care. I was totally comfortable with Dr. Schexnaydre. In fact, she’s going to be my OB-GYN from now until I return home to Virginia. My mom and I stayed in our room the whole time. There was a bed for each of us, and plenty of room to relax.  My newborn son, Easton, was right there with me, and I had all the support I could have ever wanted. I didn’t really think about COVID-19 at all because it was so obvious that they were taking all the right precautions. The staff all wore face coverings, and sanitized their hands every time they came in and out of the room. I felt that my baby and I were completely safe.”

Kelsey Sanders, Nursing Manager at the Family Birthing Center, understands your fears.  She says, “We know coming to the hospital can cause worry right now. However, I can assure you that we have your safety, and that of your baby, in the forefront of our minds — always. That’s exactly why we have put specific protocols and policies in place during this health crisis. We absolutely love being part of one of the biggest moments in a family’s life as you welcome a precious new baby. We would love to share that experience with you. Please call us any time if you would like to ask questions about the Family Birthing Center or talk to someone about your options.”

In addition, you can do your own research. North Ottawa reports COVID-19 status to the State of Michigan every day. You can see online how many COVID patients are in the hospital at any time. Just click this link, select Dashboard, and then choose North Ottawa Community Hospital.

Please call the Family Birthing Center at 616.847.5337 with any questions or to get more information.





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