UPHS Marquette NICU adjusts to keep babies and moms healthy during pandemic

NICU staff members are regularly screened for COVID-19. As an added precaution, visitation is limited to parents only.
Published: Apr. 19, 2021 at 1:21 PM EDT
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - Hospitals have made many adjustments amid the pandemic, including the way it cares for newborn babies and their mothers.

The Neonatal ICU at UPHS Marquette had to make changes quickly at the beginning of the pandemic to continue safely caring for its tiny patients.

“We were tightly screening the parents even coming into the NICU, the staff immediately was donning all the personal protective equipment that we had to keep the babies safe,” said Anne Loman, clinical director for the hospital’s NICU and Family Birthing Unit.

Loman says staff members are regularly screened for COVID-19. As an added precaution, visitations are limited to parents only.

“Previously grandparents were able to come in, which was a real benefit to the parents,” Loman said. “It’s a very stressful time, and those grandparents have always just been an extra support, so that’s been a harder thing for the parents.”

Loman says soon-to-be mothers are at especially high risk for the coronavirus.

“Pregnant moms who get COVID have often been sicker than other women in their same age group,” said Loman. “The babies tend to do very, very well, even if mom has COVID.”

If a baby is at risk, they are placed in one of three isolation rooms.

“We put them in those rooms, and the staff only take care of those infants and are very cautious about being anywhere else in the unit and not having to care for any other babies,” Loman explained.

Loman assures expecting mothers it is safe to go to UPHS Marquette to give birth. She says the staff will do everything possible to keep both mom and baby healthy.

“Don’t be scared about what’s going on,” said Loman. “We are very well educated in how to care for you, and we know all the precautions to take. We want you to come in; we want to take care of you and do what is best for you and your baby.”

To learn more about the NICU at UPHS Marquette, click here.

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