We know delivering during the COVID-19 pandemic can make an exciting moment in your family’s life more stressful. However, our labor and delivery teams want to put your mind at ease by letting you know that we’ve taken every precaution to ensure your safety and comfort during this time.

Chair of OB/GYN Services at Catholic Health, Dr. Anthony Pivarunas has helped many families over the years welcome their newest addition. Here’s what he had to say in response to the most frequently asked questions about labor and delivery during COVID-19:

Anthony Pivarunas, DO

Anthony Pivarunas, DO

Chair of OB/GYN Services

Is going to the hospital to have my baby safe?

Our goal is to provide the highest quality of care in the safest possible environment to our patients and their babies.  These are some of the many things we are doing:

  • We screen everyone entering our hospital for COVID-19 by taking a temperature, and asking questions about symptoms of cough, fever, sore throat and shortness of breath.
  • We ask questions about possible exposures to COVID-19.
  • We provide everyone with a mask to be worn while in the hospital.
  • We limit the number of people who come into the hospital to only those essential to perform hospital activities or patients needing care.
What else are you doing to make sure I am safe?

We cocoon the patient and their birth partner in their own private room.  We limit the number of people who come into your room to the bare minimum necessary to ensure safe care.  During your stay, your birth partner cannot leave your room unless asked to do so by your provider or staff.  In addition, we are testing all our patients who are admitted to deliver their baby for COVID-19 with a nasopharyngeal swab.  This test will help us provide better care to you and your baby. 

Is a COVID-19 test necessary, I heard it is painful?

The nasopharyngeal swab can be uncomfortable, but knowing the results helps us make sure you and your baby are getting the best care possible, and to assure we keep all our patients and staff as safe as possible.

Can I refuse the test?

Yes, but knowing the result will help you reduce the chance of passing on the virus to your baby and other members of your family.  If you refuse the test, while in the hospital, we will recommend that you take all the precautions as if you had a positive result.

If my test comes back positive, I heard that you will take the baby away from me?

A positive test does not mean you will be separated from your baby, but it will help us show you ways to reduce the chance of passing on the virus to your baby.  The CDC has recommended that babies and mom are separated, but after a discussion with your health care team, as long as the baby does not have any problems, you will make the decision on whether you want to have the baby in your room (rooming-in), or whether you want the baby in the nursery.

If my test comes back positive, and I choose to room-in with the baby, what will happen?

Most patients with a positive test result choose to keep the baby in their room (rooming-in).  We teach you easy to follow steps to reduce the risk of spread to the baby, like always wearing a mask when around the baby, washing your hands before holding the baby, and how to clean your breast before breastfeeding.  Your pediatrician will also talk with you about what to watch for with the baby when you go home.

How long will I need to stay in the hospital after the birth?

If you and your baby are healthy and have no unusual risks, we are encouraging early discharge for moms and babies after about 24 hours if you had a vaginal birth, and after about 48 hours if you had a cesarean section.  You and your baby need to meet certain criteria to go home early, and your baby will need a next day follow up with a pediatrician.

Please reach out to your OB/GYN or midwife to discuss any concerns you might be having about delivering at one of our hospitals. For more information on the safety precautions we’re taking during the COVID-19 pandemic, visit us online at chsbuffalo.org/deliver.

Find an OB/GYN Near You
Call (716) 923-7152

Find an OB/GYN Near You
Call (716) 923-7152