Giving Birth at Emerson During the COVID-19 Crisis


Many expectant moms and family members have questions about delivering their baby during the COVID-19 pandemic. In an episode of our Health Works Here podcast recorded in April 2020, Avery Fisher, a certified nurse-midwife with AFA OB/GYN and Emerson Hospital, spoke about the impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak on expectant mothers and the childbirth process. Continue reading for Avery's answers to frequently asked questions from expectant mothers. 

Please note: Information on how COVID-19 impacts families can change rapidly as more data is gathered and can impact the accuracy of this resource. Please check with your physician for the most up-to-date information.

During Pregnancy

Are pregnant people at a higher risk to contract COVID-19?
Preliminary data shows that there is not an increased risk of contraction by pregnant people. However, some evidence now suggests that if a pregnant women acquires COVID-19 and is symptomatic, she is at increased risk of more severe illness than a nonpregnant women.

Can I tour the birthing center or sign up for a childbirth class? 
All of Emerson’s in-person tours have been suspended for the time being. However, a virtual tour of our Clough Birthing Center is available. A limited amount of in-person and online classes have been re-instated. Visit to find upcoming childbirth classes.

If a mother is diagnosed with COVID-19 during pregnancy is there a risk to the baby?
Preliminary evidence shows that in a small number of cases COVID-19 can be transmitted from mother to baby at the time of birth.

How should parents cope during this anxious time?
Please reach out to your OB office — we are here to help. Emerson’s Clough Birth Center can be reached by calling 978-287-3310.

While In Labor

Are patients and visitors being screened for COVID-19?
All patients and support persons are screened for symptoms and tested on admission to the birthing center. All outpatients are also being screened for symptoms.

How is the birthing center protecting patients and babies during this outbreak?
In addition to our standard sanitation and screening procedures, Emerson has instituted negative pressure rooms. There is now both a designated negative pressure delivery room and patient room at our birthing center. A negative pressure room is a technique used to prevent the spread of COVID-19 from room to room. These negative pressure rooms will be used for patients with suspected or known COVID-19 diagnosis.

Are visitors allowed at the hospital?
Expectant mothers can have a designated birth partner who remains the same throughout their stay. In addition, a professional doula may accompany the patient for labor support. No other visitors are permitted. This policy is put in place to protect patients, families, and hospital staff, and it is subject to change. Please review our visitor policy page to stay up-to-date with current information.

After Delivery

Are visitors allowed at the hospital?
For postpartum patients, your birth partner may remain with you during your stay, plus two visitors at a time. No visitors are allowed between 2-4 p.m. Siblings who are in good health and accompanied by an adult supervisor may visit during visitation hours. Siblings under 18 must be supervised at all times by someone other than the birthing patient. Each sibling is considered one of the two visitors allowed at a time. Only the mother and birth partner are allowed in the special care nursey. *Note that this may not reflect the most current policy. Please see our Visitor Policy page for up-to-date information.

What precautions should be taken when mom and baby come home?
Each family is advised to practice strict social distancing. Do not have family and friends visit your home and don’t go to visit their homes. Visits should be outdoors only and people should remain at least six feet away per standard social distancing practices.

Listen to the Podcast

The Labor & Delivery Experience in the Time of COVID-19: A Podcast for Pregnant Moms and Partners

Please subscribe to the Health Works Here podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, Spotify, or your favorite podcast source.

Additional Resources