Get to Know: The Mother & Baby Unit

By Bridget Burling

What does the Mother-Baby Unit entail?

The Mother-Baby Unit is primarily for parents who recently delivered their baby and occasionally women who are currently pregnant. What we are doing is supporting those parents in terms of teaching, education, the basics of what they need to know to take care of their baby when they go home. We want to make sure that both the mother and baby are healthy and that there are no concerns that require being followed up with by a physician.

For parents who are having a baby for the first time, we spend quite a bit of time with them to understand how to feed, change and bathe their baby. We do a lot of hands-on training and face-to-face interaction with the patients to help them.

If patients are having issues during their pregnancy, we would keep them on the unit and monitor them throughout their stay to ensure that the pregnancy is going well. These patients have complications and need more follow up than having them stay at home and wait for their next doctor’s appointment.

How has COVID-19 impacted the unit?

For the staff, initially and ongoing, there is a lot of uncertainty around COVID-19. When everything started happening, there were a lot of changes to care happening quickly. The staff took that on and worked hard to do their best and still provide the same amount of care for the patients while ensuring they are protected, and so is the patient.

How have mothers been impacted during this time?

COVID-19 took a toll on the patients and their families. Previously, we would allow visitors anytime in the day and allow as many visitors as the patient requested. Unfortunately, with COVID-19, we had to restrict some of that access, and one of the things that we tried to do is have one person stay for the entire length of their stay in the hospital. All of our patient rooms in the Mother-Baby Unit are single occupancy, which adds an extra layer of infection control. COVID-19 has changed the plans many parents have about their supports during birth and the postpartum period.

What tips do you have for people who are expecting?

  1. Plan: Think about who you want to support you after you leave the hospital.
  2. Asking for prepared meals: Since people cannot help as much as they once could, asking for ready meals is a great time saver. This way, those who reach out to help are not necessarily in your house, but they can still support you.
  3. Learn about services: Learning about available services that could help women post-partum such as virtual visits and telephone help. See what childcare centres are available in the area.

[Pictured: Joan Lee, Hannah Boostabi, Juliette Harriott, Elena Zevlever, Edith Abendan, Diana McQueen, Lanying Jia, Vicky Karmi, and Madeleine Marn]