Reader Q: Are local hospitals doing what other places are doing and making women birth alone, which is just horrible?

A. No they are not. At both Lafayette General and Lourdes, which owns Women’s & Children’s, you are still allowed to have one person with you during childbirth.

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, both systems have instituted “zero visitor” policies, with limited exceptions, one of which is laboring mothers. Click here for the latest on Lourdes’ visitor restrictions and here for Lafayette General’s.

(See Editor’s Note above for the policy change that went into effect days after this story was published.)

What if I have a doula or midwife? If you have a labor coach, Lafayette General will also allow that person, along with your spouse, partner or significant other.

“If the mom has a doula arranged already to assist during labor, the doula can stay for labor and the delivery and will be asked to leave after the delivery,” a Lafayette General spokeswoman tells me. “We will ask the doula to present a certificate to show that is their role. The one significant other can stay with the mom in L & D and M/B [where moms go after delivery.] 

That’s not the case at Lourdes’ Women’s & Children’s, however, where it’s going to be either your doula or partner. “They are allowed to have one spouse or significant other [screened at entry] to be with them during their stay,” a Lourdes spokeswoman tells me.

Both hospital systems say they have made no other significant changes to labor and delivery other than the overall response to new guidelines for dealing with coronavirus.

We did find at least one hospital in New York that is not allowing anyone to accompany the mother during childbirth, but that policy, as clearly stated above, is not in place here.