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Celebrating Mother’s Day in a Time of Coronavirus

We are celebrating Mother’s Day this Sunday, May 10, and this year, we wanted to take a moment to specifically honor new mothers who are giving birth during a global pandemic.

Creating a new life presents difficulties even during the best of times. Becoming a mother during a pandemic sets the bar even higher. COVID-19 has complicated the process of giving birth and spending time with new children. Hospitals require new precautions to be taken to keep newborns safe and limited visitations have plagued new families.

Hospital Precautions

Infections, heart defects, feeding issues, many babies come into this world with a host of conditions that make it necessary to keep them at the hospital for a time. Premature births account for about 9.8% of all pregnancies in the United States. The babies need to be carefully monitored after they enter the world in order to make sure they safely develop. While coronavirus might be uncommon in children, infants remain especially vulnerable.

To keep those in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) safe, children’s hospitals have stepped up. New parents who want to visit their newborn have their temperature taken upon entering the children’s hospital. They then display that temperature via a sticker on their chest for the duration of the stay. Essential pocket items like cellphones and credit cards are sterilized in special machines. Before entering the NICU, parents shed their outer clothing and put on a clean gown, wash their hands, and use hand sanitizer. After all of that, parents can enter and see their child. Some hospitals have implemented policies that limit visits to one parent at a time and no other visitors.

To hear a first-hand account of one mother’s experience, we love this video from Bonnie Lee who gave birth at Prisma Health. This warrior mom gave birth to triplets and speaks openly about the challenges her family has faced having her kids in the NICU during the coronavirus pandemic.

Our Children’s Hospitals are also Mothers’ Hospitals

Typically, we think about the babies, children and teens who are treated in Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. However, our hospitals with labor and delivery services are also highly specialized in serving the medical needs of mothers who are giving birth. In fact, some of our hospitals explicitly honor women in the names of their facilities; hospitals like Kapi’olani Medical Center for Women & Children in Hawaii and USA Health Children’s & Women’s Hospital in Alabama.

High-risk pregnancies impact the health of both the mom and baby, and our hospitals are there to offer care to the whole family — even during the coronavirus pandemic.

Happy Mother’s Day

Motherhood takes a lot of strength. Mother’s Day is a day to honor that strength and show appreciation for the people who brought us and our loved ones into this world. COVID-19 makes gifts difficult to obtain and in-person visits out of the question in many cases. However notes of love and support, kind gestures, donations to causes they value, and remote acts of service, all make for excellent ways to wish the mothers in your life a happy Mother’s Day.

Don’t forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!