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COVID-19 and Prenatal Care

I would love to sit down and talk to some moms (especially second time moms) about their experiences with their prenatal care during COVID-19. It was a completely different experience for myself. That may be because we had difficulty getting pregnant with my second and had our family doctor refer us to the fertility clinic. Struggling moms often bond together, and I slipped into my first fertility appointment before the first wave of COVID-19 in March 2020 with my husband. The fertility clinic was not taking new patients on with the uncertainty of the pandemic, and I watched others who were already struggling become even more frustrated while they waited for their appointments.


I knew right away when I was finally pregnant. I had become a pro at receiving negative results, so once there was a verrrrryyy light pink faded second line on my pregnancy test.. I knew we finally conceived! Not to mention the nausea.. I joked with my office staff that I thought I was having twins. Deep down, I knew that I was brewing up two littles and the joke became betting if it was two or three in my belly. The 8 week ultrasound however, was not as I expected.. We had tried for so long I was extremely nervous going to this appointment. And I had to go alone since there were no support people at the time. I must say though, the doctor was incredible with me, but it was just not the same as having my husband there. See below: Photo 1 is my lost little who stopped growing at six weeks. Photo 2 is my soon to be baby boy!




As the pandemic progressed, we all adapted and the following ultrasounds were allowing one support person. However, my husband pushed the appointment start time and almost was not allowed in the IWK because we went in separately (note to him for next time, don't be late). I've heard from my friends who have given birth the last year that it depended on the time of the "waves" if hubby could leave the hospital unit or not (they would not be allowed back in if they left). Or, some NICU babies were only allowed one support so parents could not be at the hospital together.


On a lighter note, I did not have to do the glucose drink test.. what even is the proper name for this test? It made me so sick the first pregnancy, so I was happy with extra blood work (the labs in central zone would not allow you to sit that long in the waiting room). My other "regular" check in appointments have been solo, as my family doctor is only seeing prenatal patients in person (along with a select other few).


I'm hoping that were we are at the bottom of the second wave that I will give birth while there is little concern for being at risk for exposure to COVID-19. I think that'll make for an interesting post, as the first experience is still quite fresh in my mind. I am curious to compare.


To end, I'd love to be that quirky grandma one day who can show her grandkids what a "crazy" world 2020 was during COVID-19. (Staying home with my family and being close to a small group of people has had a lot of ups, in addition to the downs). That's a topic for another day. I'd like to compare what the world is like in a year (or 40) from this date. So I pulled the information from the Government of Nova Scotia's Website for restrictions currently in place:


Gathering limits - February 18, 2021

You need to follow gathering limits, unless your group has an exemption identified in the Health Protection Act Order (PDF).

The following gathering restrictions are in place:

  • Households can have gatherings up to 10 people in their home including people who live there without social distancing (if your household is more than 10 people you can’t have any visitors); when you go into the community, your household can stay together without social distancing no matter how many people are in the household – when shopping, try to have 1 person from your household go into a store to help keep customers and staff safe.

  • Gathering limit for close social groups - you can form a close social group of up to 10 people without social distancing; you should try to keep this group consistent.

  • Indoor gathering limit with social distancing for events and activities hosted by a recognized business or organization - 50% of the venue’s capacity up to 100 people maximum indoors (including spectators of sports and performing arts). Events and activities include:

    • arts and culture events

    • sports (recreational, amateur and professional), recreational and physical activity events

    • festivals

    • special events

    • social events

    • faith gatherings, weddings and funerals (including receptions and visitation)

    • bingo, darts and other activities hosted by licensed and unlicensed establishments following the Guidelines for Games and activities in licensed establishments (PDF)


  • Outdoor gathering limit with social distancing for events and activities hosted by a recognized business or organization - 150 people maximum outdoors (including spectators of sports and performing arts). Events and activities include:

    • arts and culture events

    • sports (recreational, amateur and professional), recreational and physical activity events

    • festivals

    • special events

    • social events

    • faith gatherings, weddings and funerals (including receptions and visitation)

    • bingo, darts and other activities hosted by licensed and unlicensed establishments following the Guidelines for Games and activities in licensed establishments (PDF)


  • Recognized businesses and organizations hosting events and activities can have multiple groups of up to 100 people in each group if:

    • each group follows indoor and outdoor gathering limits for events and activities hosted by a recognized business or organization

    • the facility accommodates separate entrance and exit, concessions and washrooms for each group

    • the facility makes sure people in attendance follow social distancing guidelines

    • the facility has received Public Health approval of its Workplace COVID-19 Prevention Plan


  • Scotiabank Centre (Halifax) and Centre 200 (Sydney) can host events with multiple groups of up to 150 people.

  • Gathering limit without social distancing for participants and officials in organized performing arts and sports - participants and officials in performing arts and sports (recreational, amateur and professional) can gather in groups of up to 60 people without social distancing for rehearsals, performances, practices and their regular competitive schedule.

  • Gathering limit for businesses and organizations that can’t maintain a physical distance of 2 metres (6 feet) because their physical space is too small - 10 customers or clients maximum without social distancing (keep as much social distancing as possible).

  • Gathering limit with social distancing for meetings and training (indoor and outdoor) - 150 people maximum outdoors or 50% of the venue’s capacity up to 100 people maximum indoors when meetings and training are hosted by a recognized business or organization, including:

    • provincial and municipal governments

    • private businesses and organizations

    • first responder organizations (emergency first responders are exempt from social distancing when necessary)

    • mental health and addictions support groups

    • organized clubs (meetings can follow Guidelines for Return to Day Camp (PDF 525 kB) to have groups with up to 15 people in each group without maintaining a physical distance of two metres (6 feet); different groups of 15 must maintain physical distance)

And since I run a long-term care facility, I will also add the Healthcare and Continuing Care restrictions:


Healthcare and continuing care

  • Adult residential centres and regional rehabilitation centres licensed by the Department of Community Services – A designated caregiver can take a resident for a sightseeing car ride, but they can't have additional passengers in the car or stop along the way (like stopping for shopping, visiting or going through a drive-thru). Off-site sightseeing trips for residents using facility vehicles can continue, but there can't be stops along the way (like stopping for shopping, visiting or going through a drive-thru).

  • Adult residential centres and regional rehabilitation centres licensed by the Department of Community Services can have 2 designated caregivers to help residents with specific caregiving tasks like personal care support, mobility or help with eating. Designated caregivers can be family members, spouses, friends or other support persons, and they must have an established caregiving relationship with the resident before COVID-19.

  • Adult residential centres and regional rehabilitation centres licensed by the Department of Community Services – Visits can resume with a limited number of visitors. Visits must be scheduled.

  • Adult residential centres and regional rehabilitation centres licensed by the Department of Community Services – Residents of adult residential centres and regional rehabilitation centres licensed by the Department of Community Services can leave the facility for medical and dental appointments.

  • Adult residential centres and regional rehabilitation centres licensed by the Department of Community Services – Residents of adult residential centres and regional rehabilitation centres licensed by the Department of Community Services can leave the facility for work or to volunteer activities.

  • Long-term care facilities – A designated caregiver can take a resident of a long-term care facility for a sightseeing car ride, but they can't have additional passengers in the car or stop along the way (like stopping for shopping, visiting or going through a drive-thru). Off-site sightseeing trips for residents of long-term care facilities using facility vehicles can continue, but there can't be stops along the way (like stopping for shopping, visiting or going through a drive-thru).

  • Long-term care facilities can have 2 designated caregivers to help residents with specific caregiving tasks like personal care support, mobility or help with eating. Designated caregivers can be family members, spouses, friends or other support persons, and they must have an established caregiving relationship with the resident before COVID-19.

  • Long-term care facilities – Visits at long-term care facilities can resume with a limited number of visitors. Visits must be scheduled.

  • Long-term care facilities – Residents of long-term care facilities can leave the facility for medical and dental appointments.

  • Community-based adult day programs for seniors are not permitted, except for respite care.

  • Nova Scotia Health Authority and IWK Health Centre are gradually reopening programs and services and changing visitor restrictions.

I am sure there is a lot of information that would be interesting to add as well. Remind me in 40 years that we can pull the Youtube videos (I wonder if that will still be a thing) to see the changes that occurred in 2020.


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