COVID-19 Policy Update

DAL COVID-19 Update 3/31/20

Good evening Dar a Luz community. I hope this email finds you well and you’re able to keep yourself busy as our social distancing marches on. April is around the corner and spring is here (most of the time!). The flowers are blooming (the daffodils popping up at the center are a keen reminder of rebirth and rejoice), the songbirds are back and the sun still comes up every morning and then gives up its place in the sky for the moon and the stars every night. This is calming for me, knowing what will be. But this is also a time that feels scary, overwhelming, and full of unknowns, and I want to continue to send a message of hope and positivity;
this is as much for me as it is for you.

While home these days, no better time to do all those things on your list that don’t otherwise get done. Take some time to listen to that meditation app a couple of times a day, and as you feel yourself nodding off, let yourself go. Plant that garden you’ve always wanted. The nurseries are open and some are even delivering! Catch up on some light-hearted movies or that several-season-series you were feeling too guilty to binge watch. Snuggle up on the couch with your loved ones (only those living with you!) and play a card or board game, put a puzzle together, or build that amazing Lego city. Better yet: go outside and fly a kite, take your pups on a walk and get some much needed vitamin D, which will also help in lifting your mood. Find the joy in the things you can do rather than focusing on the things you can’t do. Go through your day and say thank you out loud for all of the tiny things that are easily taken for granted. Take this time to live with intention and consider how you will continue to do this when things go back to normal… and ask yourself, “what are the things that were part of my normal that I didn’t really care for anyway?”

***
With all of that being said, we have some new polices that need to be announced. I wish I could say that there won’t be any additional changes but the information coming out of our own country and countries abroad forces us to constantly re-evaluate. I want to reiterate that everything we are doing here at Dar a Luz is not just for our safety but very much for your safety.

Prenatal and Postpartum Visits
ONLY the client will be allowed in the center for prenatal visits. Only the mother and the newborn will be allowed in the center for mom/baby dyad visits. Partners and children are no longer allowed in the center during those visits.

Labor
At this time, laboring clients may still have one birth partner and a certified professional doula (if you have hired one). Unfortunately, photographers and children are no longer allowed. Family members are not allowed to wait in the waiting room either.

Wash your hands Even Though You Have Used Hand Sanitizer
Please wash your hands immediately after you have checked in with the nurse at the front door. Sinks in the bathroom or the kitchen are available.

Masks
As of this week, all staff will be wearing surgical masks AND all clients will also be wearing surgical masks during all encounters. “I wear a mask to protect you, you wear a mask to protect me” is our current mantra and the reason for adoption of this policy. During labor, birth and the immediate postpartum period at the center, nurses and midwives will wear N95 respirator masks. Laboring clients, their birth partner and doula (if you have one) will be required to wear surgical masks. We know this feels harsh and it’s a lot to ask. But we also know that asymptomatic viral shedding is responsible for many positive COVID-19 cases. We also know that the virus can remain suspended in the air for at least 3 hours if aerosolized. Birth is a time when voices are projected and there’s a higher risk of those aerosolized particles. This is for everyone’s safety.

Personal Protection Equipment (PPE)
During labor, birth and the immediate postpartum period, clinical staff will be wearing full PPE including gloves, gowns, eye protection and N95 respirator masks.

Transfer to the Hospital
Unfortunately, because of visitor policies at the local hospitals, midwives will not be able to accompany our clients in the event of any sort of non-emergent transfer.

***

As always, I am humbled by my dedicated staff and by all of the clients who show up everyday and trust us with this glorious time of pregnancy and birth. I am grateful for your understanding, patience and kindness. I want to end with an excerpt from a poem called St Francis and the Sow by Galway Kinnell:

The bud
stands for all things,
even for those things that don’t flower,
for everything flowers, from within, of self-blessing;   
though sometimes it is necessary
to reteach a thing its loveliness,
to put a hand on its brow
of the flower
and retell it in words and in touch
it is lovely
until it flowers again from within, of self-blessing

***

You are lovely. You are not alone. We are in this together.

With Blessings,
Abigail Lanin Eaves, CNM
Executive Director  

Phone numbers for clients include: 

Main: 505.924.2229

Tracy (front desk), extension 0

Registered nurse/triage line, extension 5

Midwife on call (established clients ONLY), extension 8

If you have further questions or concerns that have not been answered in this policy, you may call me directly using extension 2. 

For More Information Please Visit:

Information from the NM Department of Health 
http://cv.nmhealth.org/

Information from the CDC
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

Defining mild, moderate, severe symptoms:
https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2020/03/13/814691018/coronavirus-symptoms-defining-mild-moderate-and-severe

Nine charts that explain the coronavirus
https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/2020/3/12/21172040/coronavirus-covid-19-virus-charts?fbclid=IwAR34YBJhXPiMSYN9M7xpOXWEX1ac84q4fEBpvG2L75EociLcUSzVrDXBOmI

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