Cedars-Sinai's Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology -- which had restricted its visitation policy because of concerns about the coronavirus -- announced Tuesday that it will allow visitors to remain with new mothers throughout their hospital stays.
In the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, the hospital limited visitors to one person for each pregnant patient and only while the mother was in labor and delivery.
Visitors will not be allowed re-entry if they leave the medical center under a new policy mirroring those of neighboring peer institutions, according to the hospital.
"We hope this change allows for a more comfortable stay for our patients and alleviates some of the anxiety associated with this difficult time,'' said Dr. Sarah Kilpatrick, chair of the hospital's Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. "During these unprecedented times, we are committed to doing everything we can to protect the health of our laboring mothers and ensure the safety of their babies."
Kilpatrick and her team are recommending that parents not change their birth plan to a home birth or birth center solely for the purpose of lowering the risk of contracting COVID-19, noting that there is no data to support the belief that giving birth outside a hospital lowers the risk of contracting the virus.
"Hospitals, including Cedars-Sinai, are required to adhere to strict disinfection guidelines and health care workers must be screened for contagious disease before working with patients,'' Kilpatrick said. "Our labor and delivery staff are trained well for emergencies that can occur during childbirth.''
Steps are being taken to ensure the safety of all of the hospital's patients, visitors, health care providers and essential staff members, according to Cedars-Sinai.