Hospital banning kids during flu season - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 28 Old 08-30-2010, 03:11 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Last year our local hospital banned all children under 16 from visiting the hospital due to H1N1, whether they were sick or not. Since I'm due end of Oct., I'm afraid they will have this ban in effect already and DD won't be able to come meet her baby brother/ see me at the hospital. I just really hope they don't do something stupid like ban children before they even know if its a bad flu season as a "precaution."

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#2 of 28 Old 08-30-2010, 03:38 AM
 
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ugh, our hospital was the same way and i am due in feb. i hadn't even thought of this!!!!! there's gotta be a way around it because i have no intention of ds being apart from us and the new baby for that long!!! i would ask somebody in the birthing center about this, there must be exceptions for certain situations!!
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#3 of 28 Old 08-30-2010, 07:06 AM
 
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some of the hospitals here wont allow any children under 12 to come visit at all..... if it's important to you.. you need to call the hospital and ask what thier plan is in advance.. if they plan to close it to kids you could look in to another hospital! -- but that's part of the reason i'm having this LO at home.... only a small part... but still a part!

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#4 of 28 Old 08-30-2010, 08:19 AM
 
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My hospital is doing the same thing, and I'm due in December.

I'm not all that upset about the issue in regard to visiting (as long as all is well, we push for early "check out"), but it may be a major issue in regard to actual l&d. We're having real trouble making child care arrangements for our 4 kids. If nobody is available to take our kids, I could potentially wind up delivering without dh.

Because of this, along with general hospital exposure, my midwives and the backup OB are encouraging homebirths. Unfortunately, that's not looking like the best option for us.

I'm definitely freaking out about the whole situation!

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#5 of 28 Old 08-30-2010, 09:03 AM
 
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Due in November. Worried about this too.
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#6 of 28 Old 08-30-2010, 09:34 AM
 
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This was one of the reasons we did homebirth.

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#7 of 28 Old 08-30-2010, 09:47 AM
 
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Hmm. Dd3 was born in March 08, and there was no issue. I'll have to ask my OB when I see her.
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#8 of 28 Old 08-30-2010, 10:05 AM
 
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Ugh. Yet, it's okay--actually considered preferred by the "establishment"-- for a newborn baby to be there??

I'm sorry for all of you in that situation. It stinks.

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#9 of 28 Old 08-30-2010, 10:39 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by honeybee View Post
Ugh. Yet, it's okay--actually considered preferred by the "establishment"-- for a newborn baby to be there??

My local hospital had the same kid-ban when I had a miscarriage in Feb. DS had come with me and DH, and they had to wait outside. I wondered what the staff would have done if DH hadn't been there? Anyway, after I was admitted the nurses were very nice and said that it was OK if DS came back there with me. I'd check to see if kids are allowed in certain situations. I mean, say something horrible happens to a kid's parent and they end up in intensive care or on their death bed? Are they still going to say "No kids allowed!" What if your DH is the sole care provider for your other kid(s) and you have no childcare options while you are in labor? I mean, the possibilities are endless.

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#10 of 28 Old 08-30-2010, 10:51 AM
 
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This happened to my SIL last year in November, except it was even worse; no visitors at all except parents of the new mother and father. I deliver in January (different hospital) but I am nervous nevertheless.
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#11 of 28 Old 08-30-2010, 10:52 AM
 
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Yeah, I'm stressed out wondering about this as well.

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#12 of 28 Old 08-30-2010, 11:34 AM
 
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That stinks! At the birthing center there aren't such policies, however in the event of a transfer, the hospital will have to refuse care to me as we drive 2 hours South of home, DS in tow - he either comes or I give birth on their parking lot. I would think they have to consider individual situations... Like what if you have no babysitter or family around (like us, plus the long drive)?
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#13 of 28 Old 08-30-2010, 11:45 AM
 
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Originally Posted by honeybee View Post
Ugh. Yet, it's okay--actually considered preferred by the "establishment"-- for a newborn baby to be there??

.
Well, the primary reason that kids are "banned" is so they don't track the flu in from the outside. If that newborn was BORN there, they haven't been outside to track anything in. So the comparison isn't really valid.

Having said that, I do think the policies are stupid...as if there aren't enough contagious diseases floating around a hospital already!

And, while I did actually think I was going to have to deal with this, it turned out to be a non issue. DD2 was born November 2008 and the hospital had a policy of no child visitors at that time...except for the maternity ward. For security reasons, the maternity ward is actually kept pretty securely seperate from the rest of the hospital-it has it's own entrance so visitors can, and are asked, to enter through that way only so kids can come in to visit without exposing other patients. And the entrance to the maternity ward from the hospital is a buzz in/out entrance. Kids aren't allowed through that way for the most part.

Also, my MIL ended up in the ICU at a different hospital due to the flu. The ICU had a policy against child visitors posted as well, but both of my girls were allowed to go and visit for short periods anyway.

So, just because a hospital has that policy, that doesn't necessarily mean anything.
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#14 of 28 Old 08-30-2010, 12:06 PM
 
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I read this thread and started worrying, so I checked my hospital's website. Lo and behold in Postpartum absolutely no visitors under 12 I'm soooo bummed, it actually made me tear up a bit knowing that my 6-year old DS who is sooooo excited about the baby won't be able to see him or her until I'm discharged.

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#15 of 28 Old 08-30-2010, 12:16 PM
 
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I was on bedrest in the hospital before DD was born, and the hospital enacted that ban 2 days before she was born, so I couldn't see DS for over 4 days. It was heartbreaking but I understand it. H1N1 was/is very dangerous for pregnant women. It's not just newborns in the hospital - there are also pregnant women already at risk for complications.

DS wasn't allowed to meet his sister until she was discharged from the NICU at 10 days. The ban was lifted that morning, so he actually met her in the NICU. And you know what? The next day, he got very sick, and it could have been H1N1 but he was only tested for strep. DD was the only member of our family not to get sick.

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#16 of 28 Old 08-30-2010, 12:22 PM
 
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Last year a lot of hospitals in our area were limiting even adult visitors to *one* that means in some cases people were turning doula's away (that or your DH) when they got there. That would have been pretty disastrous for us since my doula was the person who I really relied on for support but there is no way on earth I would be able to choose her over my DH. We're hoping the birth center scheduled to open the month I'm due works out.

Jessica, wife to Greg since 7/04, mama to the rainbow1284.gif Gman 7/06, 3 brokenheart.gif , rainbow1284.gif Asher 1/11 and a wonderful surprise due in August!

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#17 of 28 Old 08-30-2010, 01:24 PM
 
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FWIW, the hospital where I had my DD has the same policy posted on their website -

Quote:
Important flu season notice to visitors:

To protect the health of our community during flu season, XXX Hospital has established flu-related visitiation restrictions. These restrictions are meant to prevent the spread of H1N1 and seasonal flu to our patients; visitors, especially children; and health care workers:

* No one age 17 and under is allowed to visit patients in the hospital.
However, when I called the actual birthing center contained inside the hospital, they told me that younger siblings were welcome to stay for the entire birth and/or visit afterward with no problem.

Anyone who is worried about this might want to call the actual maternity/birthing center department and double check their policies.

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#18 of 28 Old 08-30-2010, 01:46 PM
 
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I called my hospital about this. The guy I talked to said they only had this policy last year because of H1N1. He said the CDC enacted this policy.

However, last year my toddler son and I visited my friend when she gave birth in January at a different hospital. So I'm not sure if this hospital had a different policy, or if they just don't enforce it.

I'm hoping we don't have this issue when I give birth I seriously don't know how my son will react to not seeing me. He's only be apart from me for hours, never overnight I can't imagine not seeing him for days. He's gonna hate this baby if he attributes me being gone so long being due to the baby.
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#19 of 28 Old 08-30-2010, 05:11 PM
 
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This was the policy when my cousin had her baby last November. She had a c-section and had to stay for 4 days and was away from her DS, 5. She told the nurse if she couldn't bring her son up to her room then she was taking the baby and going to the lobby. The nurse relented and let her son in the room.

I have mixed feelings about this. I understand the reason and as a soon to be mom I certainly want to protect my LO from as many diseases as I can, however adults carry disease as well. I hope the hospitals have put some thought into disease prevention as well.
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#20 of 28 Old 08-30-2010, 05:46 PM
 
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Originally Posted by happysmileylady View Post
Having said that, I do think the policies are stupid...as if there aren't enough contagious diseases floating around a hospital already!
The other reason it's stupid is that I think there's no science to prove that kids are a worse risk than adults!!! Plus, they can simply take the temperature of the kids to see if they have a sign of infection. Normal temp should be admittance. (Well, Ha - I saw that on the show "19 Kids & Counting" - they took the kids' temps before allowing them into the NICU. I would guess that's an effective screening method.)

& as we all know, there are lots of hospital "policies" on crazy things like IVs in labor & cEFM - but often our HCPs are fine with deviations. So you may get away with it anyway - especially if you push a bit.
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#21 of 28 Old 08-30-2010, 07:10 PM
 
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If anyone does end up in that situation you can use some things like skype if you have a laptop and internet access so you can at least sort of see and talk to your kids and show them the baby.

A friend of mine who knew she would have a c-section last spring had this all planned out as she was really upset about the thought of so many days away from DS...having a plan and skype etc. helped her feel better. Luckily for her 2 weeks before the delivery the ban was lifted!

I can generally understand the idea behind it - but I also feel it is a bit of overkill. I am hoping that the H1N1 last year was the main reason and that this next year that won't happen. It is just not reasonable for families for the most part... it is so hard.

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#22 of 28 Old 08-30-2010, 11:32 PM
 
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when I toured the hospitals here they said that they weren't expecting the ban to hit this year. here It was a state wide bann but I hope I don't have to deal with it this year! I don't even want to birth in the hospital but the only home birth CNM is suspended so I had very little choices left.
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#23 of 28 Old 08-31-2010, 10:09 AM
 
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I joked with my husband that if they have the ban, he'll have to wear our 2 year old in the ergo, cover him with a big coat and sneak him in.
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#24 of 28 Old 08-31-2010, 11:35 AM
 
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Originally Posted by thebigfam View Post
when I toured the hospitals here they said that they weren't expecting the ban to hit this year. here It was a state wide bann but I hope I don't have to deal with it this year! I don't even want to birth in the hospital but the only home birth CNM is suspended so I had very little choices left.
That's positive news!

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Originally Posted by dejagerw View Post
I joked with my husband that if they have the ban, he'll have to wear our 2 year old in the ergo, cover him with a big coat and sneak him in.
I'd like to see that.

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#25 of 28 Old 08-31-2010, 11:42 AM
 
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I'm due in January, and I've already resigned myself to the fact that our lo's probably won't be able to see the baby until we get home. *sigh* Thankfully, dh's parents are able to come stay at our house with them while we're in the hospital (dh always stays the whole time). I'm sure we'll be doing Skype.

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#26 of 28 Old 08-31-2010, 01:09 PM
 
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Our local hospital bans kids from maternity ward because of RSV, not specifically the flu. I think it's no kids under 12 from Nov 1 to March 1. Just one more reason to stay home.
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#27 of 28 Old 08-31-2010, 01:26 PM
 
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There was a ban at some hospitals around the area, not all. The H1n1 pandemic is over, according to WHO.

My hospital lifted the flu ban in March, so family members can visit, under age 12 needs parental supervision. Hopefully they won't reinstate it

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#28 of 28 Old 08-31-2010, 03:27 PM
 
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Although a minor factor, this did play into my decision to switch to a homebirth for this LO.

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