Healthcare workers are essential, and they deserve to work in safe settings. This makes taking care of patients a huge challenge, especially during such a delicate stage of life like pregnancy is. Improving services to provide better support to pregnant and new mothers using technology today is essential.
How Has Lockdown Affected Midwifery Care?
The lockdown has caused some big changes and much uncertainty for expecting mothers. There isn’t a consistent, hard-fast rule on how to provide prenatal and postnatal support. In fact, it changes from hospital to hospital, from trust to trust, and from board to board.
For example, an analysis by the BBC showed that a third of their sample size allowed for home births. Though all 16 institutions allowed the partners to be there during labour, only a quarter were allowed to be there in the postnatal ward.
Home visits still occur, but not consistently, and in some cases, only when absolutely necessary. This lack of consistency means it is up to individuals to provide better, more comprehensive support to their charges.
How Can Healthcare Workers Improve Their Support?
Though ideas are still being considered and new trials ongoing for how best to provide support to expecting and new mothers, a few of the top strategies of the day include:
1. Online Video Appointments
Feeling connected and able to seek out advice and help throughout the pregnancy process and following a birth is one of the most important job roles handled by medical professionals. With lockdown, many of these institutions, for example, the midwifery clinics, are closed, meaning that healthcare professionals need to offer an alternative way to connect with their patients and offer their guidance.
Video appointments are definitely an answer to this, as it allows for more detail and contextual understanding to be had between the patient and her doctor. Video healthcare isn’t new, either, with many seeing it as the future for healthcare (especially for those in remote areas).
Telemedicine works by providing the patient with the diagnostic tools they need, and having them administer the tests themselves through the video guidance of a professional. This won’t work for every diagnostic test, but it can help expectant and new mothers get the right diagnosis from a distance.
3. Text Updates
With so many changes to the policies in hospitals, general practices, and any other healthcare setting, having text updates on these changes is going to provide peace of mind to expectant mothers.
4. Safer Home Visits
Home visits need to be made safer for medical staff, and this can be done by sending a cleaning kit from medical-supermarket.com to the home’s ahead of time so that the patient or her partner can sterilize the space and better protect herself, and her midwife.
5. Partner COVID-19 Tests
Finally, in order to allow more partners access to postnatal wards, it is recommended that COVID-19 tests are taken ahead of time, close to the delivery date. This way, they can quarantine themselves if they do test positive, and can safely stay with their partner in the postnatal ward if their test was negative.