In the midst of the global coronavirus pandemic, preparing for labor and delivery may be more stressful than exciting for pregnant women. Are hospitals safe with possible COVID-19 positive patients in the vicinity? Will family be allowed to share the experience and provide support? What to expect with the new precautions? While all hospitals follow different protocols, Augusta University alumna, Maura Bravo Pridgen (MEd ’13, EdS ’14), filled us in on her experience of delivering her first born on June 4, 2020. The AU Office of Alumni Engagement included her story in their monthly newsletter.
Prior to delivering, Maura prepared by quarantining and asking her family to quarantine for two weeks, if possible, before visiting her newborn once she was brought home. Maura was only allowed one visitor, her husband, Andrew Pridgen, during her stay and he was not allowed to leave the hospital for the entire duration. Therefore, they made sure to pack the essentials, leaving out a blanket and pillow due to hospital protocol. Checking into the hospital also looked a little different during the pandemic with heightened screening in place by taking temperatures and wearing masks. Although the experience was slightly altered due to the virus, welcoming baby Zoe Pridgen was a bright light during such dark times.
“Considering this was my first child, I was already nervous, so adding the extra layer of COVID-19 made me feel apprehensive about bringing a child into the world,” said Maura. “It was difficult not having our families in the hospital experiencing all the joys and anticipation of a new baby. Luckily, we had nothing to compare it to and we made the best of being alone together as a family. I do feel as if the doctors were overly attentive to us since there were no outside distractions in the hospital. Overall, I was fortunate to have a supportive team of nurses, family and friends who were there for us throughout the entire process.”