Dr. Angela Pratt, an OB-GYN from Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children, joined the COVID-19 Care Conversation today to talk about how the coronavirus pandemic has affected women’s health care, particularly with regards to expecting moms.
Dr. Pratt shared that the pandemic has changed the way physicians manage their patient’s health care.
“We’ve tried to make it the most natural and comfortable experience, but the changes have been difficult,” she said.
One of the biggest concerns is whether the patient’s partner or family members can be present in the room during childbirth. Dr. Pratt said Kapiolani Medical Center allows two visitors, but only one at time in order to protect the patient, new baby and staff. She also shared that the hospital has been trying to keep the mom and new baby together as much as possible. For example, they’ve closed nurseries to visitors and have implemented new procedures where the baby remains in-room with the mom the entire time.
According to Dr. Pratt, Hawaii Pacific Health is now testing all patients admitted to the hospital for COVID-19.
This “reassures our staff, healthcare workers, moms, everyone, that we are committed to knowing their status,” Dr. Pratt said, adding that she believes universal testing is critical and especially important for pregnant moms, as they are one of the highest asymptomatic carriers of COVID-19.
Dr. Pratt said navigating the birth process with concerns of exposure is very difficult. She recommends patients minimize exposure to media, ensure they are getting enough sleep, and to take the time to bond with family members.
Her closing message was to expecting moms.
“Enjoy this time,” she said. Despite 2020 being a challenging time, she’s seen women rise now more than ever.
Watch here and comment via our Facebook page. Join the COVID-19 Care Conversation tomorrow when Hawaii State Senate President Ron Kouchi will be the featured guest.
The COVID-19 Care Conversation, sponsored by Hawai’i Executive Collaborative and Hawaii Pacific Health, airs live every weekday at 10:30 a.m. on the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s Facebook page. Yunji de Nies and Ryan Kalei Tsuji discuss the latest news, resources and community concerns about the coronavirus outbreak in Hawaii.