H1N1, The Deadliest Virus Ever!!

Ok, so that is an exaggeration… Maybe.

I don’t think there is anything to worry about with this pandemic. Less people have died from this strain of the flu than any other. The only problem is it attacks healthy people, whereas the regular flu attacks those who are sickish.

The fear around it has made it worse than it is, pushing out vaccines before they are ready, and causing general hysteria in the population.

Nowhere is worse than with pregnant women though.

In Utah, all hospitals have established a new policy that will last until the end of the flu season in March. For this post, I will only deal with how it handles the Labor and Delivery wing.

On the Valley View Medical Center website (the hospital in my town), they state:

Because of our strong commitment to patient safety and a high level of commitment to the health of our patients, Intermountain hospitals have implemented new guidelines that restrict patient visitation. Data suggests that the action will reduce the risk of spreading H1N1 and seasonal flu to those at high risk of serious complications. These visitation guidelines consist of the following:

  • No visitors under the age of 14 are allowed in patient care areas.
  • No more than two visitors at a time. This applies to both visitors in inpatient rooms and those accompanying patients to the emergency department. This will not apply to patients in end-of-life situations; please check with nursing staff.
  • No sick visitors. If you have fever, cough, sore throat, fatigue, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea, please stay home.

Now, I understand the sick visitor thing. They are in labor or just had a baby, so if you’re sick, stay away!!

Everything else is completely bogus. If you have other children, they cannot come see you until you come home. If you have a cesarean, that’s 3 days without your other child or children and they can’t meet the newest member of the family.

I’m glad they didn’t stick with the one visitor only policy, because if I had to labor in the hospital and have to choose between my husband and my doula, I’m pretty sure my hubby would stay outside…

In the L&D wing, you can have visitors at any hour, but you can still only have 2 people in at a time. Which, in my opinion, really sucks.

So, with all these new safety measures, what would you do?

For me, I would have my baby at home!! You can have as many people as you want with you, your other children can see your baby, and you actually have a much smaller chance of getting sick at home since you already have the germs that are in your house. Not so in the hospital.

*Yes, that was a shameless plug, but I still think it’s true!!*


6 Responses

  1. Thank you for this blog post, it made me look into our local hospitals flu season policies. This just reiterates to me that healthy people shouldn't be in the hospital for a normal-low risk birth. And, again, congratulations on your recent amazing news! You'll be a published author, how awesome is that!

  2. The rules are the same here. I think they are reasonable. Heck I would understand if they made all visitors wear masks too. h1h1 is awful, believe me I had it. I think making the boys wait the 48 hours after my csection to meet their new sibling, would be worth keeping everyone healthy. If a homebirth is a safe option,low risk pregnancies, I would say go for it! Everyone is at much less risk for getting sick at home!

  3. Wow, crazy. At my hospital they just have masks and hand sanitizer everywhere. And signs up asking you not to come in if you're sick. We're only allowed 3 people in the room, but that's how it has always been (not just now b/c of the flu) and they're actually working on increasing that # right now.That under 14 rule is ridiculous!!

  4. As a 34-week-preggo getting over swine flu (thank GOD for Tamiflu) I can say I would not wish this on anyone. It sucked.So I can see the policies some hospitals are putting in place, but really, the "no-sick visitors" one should be common sense. I would certainly not want anyone coming in to see me who could infect the baby, but that also goes for visitors who see the baby at my home.As for the two-visitor rule, not sure how on earth that prevents flu transmission. One person with the flu could come in and infect you/baby and three people without would be fine. That's the weird one!

  5. I hated the restrictions on how many people could see Glade. It was miserable sitting outside waiting for my turn to see her. I can't imagine how much worse this would be.

  6. I had my baby at home over the summer, and I felt so much safer in several ways. It went about a thousand times better than my first daughter's hospital birth.I have a friend who had a blood clot in her leg and after complications and surgery, she spent several weeks in the hospital. It's a good thing the hospital here hadn't implemented this rule (yet) or she wouldn't have seen her two young boys (3 and 5) the whole time! That is CRUEL, especially considering her frame of mind at the time and how much she needed to see them, and how very much they missed their mother.

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