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Letter to the Lifecycle WomanCare Community Regarding COVID-19

13 Mar Letter to the Lifecycle WomanCare Community Regarding COVID-19

UPDATED 11/17/2020

Parking at Lifecycle WomanCare is limited. In order to prioritize parking spaces for our nursing parents and OB/GYN clients, we kindly ask that all other visitors park offsite.

One of the joys of the last few months has been witnessing the “parking lot celebrations” when new babies are born, however, we need to make sure the lot is clear for people who need it. Families of persons in labor are welcome to “visit” through the windows and hangout in the garden as long as they are parked elsewhere.

There is metered parking on many side streets near LWC and free 2-hour parking along Mondela Ave., near the hospital. Thank you for your cooperation.

UPDATED 10/16/2020

Please note that we have recently updated our pre-natal appointment schedule, as outlined below. All appoints will be in-person starting at 28 weeks:

  • New Client Seminar: All clients must attend prior to their first appointment; seminar is currently being held via Zoom.
  • 10 – 12 weeks: initial in-person visit
  • 16 weeks: in-person visit
  • 20 weeks: outpatient visit for fetal anatomy scan
  • 22 weeks: in-person visit
  • 25 weeks: telehealth appointment
  • 28 weeks: in-person visit
  • 30 weeks: in-person visit
  • 32 weeks: in-person visit
  • 34 weeks: in-person visit
  • 36 weeks: in-person visit
  • 37 weeks: in-person visit
  • 38 weeks: in-person visit
  • 39 weeks: in-person visit
  • 40 weeks: in-person visit

 

UPDATED 7/22/2020

As we begin to navigate life in the Green Phase in Pennsylvania, we want to take a moment to thank you, our clients and friends, for your cooperation, understanding, and ongoing support of Lifecycle WomanCare. We have collectively been treading through uncertain waters for the past several months, and while the challenges have seemed daunting at times, we are proud to say that LWC’s COVID-19 policies have been working.

With that being said, we know many of you are wondering how things have changed since we entered the Green Phase. The short answer is that LWC will continue to proceed cautiously. It’s important to remember that the pandemic is not over yet. Our top priority remains the same: to ensure the continued safety of our clients and staff.

Below, please review our most recent updates and answers to a few frequently asked questions.

Will partners/support people be allowed to attend prenatal and postpartum visits?

After much consideration, we have decided to continue with our current policy. Partners/support people may not attend prenatal and postpartum visits in-person; they are welcome to participate virtually.

Just like you, we are looking forward to the day when our waiting room will be full of families once again. However, in order to keep everyone safe and healthy, we need to move forward carefully and deliberately.

Clients are still permitted to have one healthy support person and one healthy doula (if applicable) during labor and birth. Support persons and doulas will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms and are required to wear a mask at all times. 

Are you still providing postpartum home visits?

Yes, home visits will still be provided for clients who give birth at The Birth Center at LWC. The visiting nurse will wear full personal protective equipment (PPE). In order to limit exposure to all parties, family members will be asked to stay in a different room during the visit.

When can I schedule my annual gynecological visit?

We have begun scheduling annual visits for new and established clients at our South Philly satellite office. Annual appointments for new and established clients will be available at our main office in Bryn Mawr starting in August.

Call us today to schedule your appointment: 610.525.6086.

If you have an emergent gynecological concern, please reach out and we will determine next steps.

Are you scheduling in-person lactation consultations?

Yes! Getting the right breastfeeding support when you need it is crucial, especially now. In-person lactation consultations are available Monday through Friday in Bryn Mawr and South Philly with our experienced lactation team. One healthy support person may accompany you to your lactation visit. Telehealth visits are also available by request.

Call us to schedule your appointment at 610.525.6086.

Peer support also makes a world of difference when you are breastfeeding and navigating life with a new baby. Our breastfeeding and new parent support groups are still meeting virtually.

More information is available here: https://lifecyclewomancare.org/what-we-offer/classes-workshops-support-groups/.

What should I do if I recently traveled out of state?

As per the Pennsylvania Department of Health, it is recommended that you “stay at home for 14 days upon your return to Pennsylvania” if you travel to states with “high amounts of COVID-19 cases”. Please refer to the PA Department of Health’s website and plan to quarantine if you visit any of the states on their list. If you have a scheduled appointment within the required quarantine period, please call us to discuss alternate arrangements.

Are you still offering classes and workshops?

All classes, workshops, and support groups will continue to be provided virtually, via Zoom.

To see our full list of offerings, please visit our website: https://lifecyclewomancare.org/what-we-offer/classes-workshops-support-groups/.

Questions or concerns?

We are here for you. Please give us a call at 610.525.6086.

Once again, we thank you for helping to make LWC a safe space for all during this truly unparalleled time.

UPDATED 4/22/2020

Prenatal Appointments:

While the COVID-19 pandemic persists, we have made changes to our prenatal visit schedule in order to minimize exposure to staff and clients. Most notably, pregnant clients will have fewer in-person visits. In between office visits, we will provide telehealth appointments, via Zoom for Telehealth. The schedule is as follows:

  • New Client Seminar: All clients must attend prior to their first appointment; seminar is currently being held virtually via Zoom.
  • 10 – 12 weeks: initial in-person visit.
  • 16 weeks: in-person visit.
  • 20 weeks: outpatient visit for fetal anatomy scan.
  • 22 weeks: in-person visit.
  • 25 weeks: telehealth appointment.
  • 28 weeks: in-person visit.
  • 30 weeks: telehealth appointment (if needed).
  • 32 weeks: in-person visit.
  • 34 weeks: telehealth or in-person (if needed)
  • 36 weeks: in-person visit.
  • 37 weeks: telehealth appointment.
  • 38 weeks: in-person visit.
  • 39 weeks: telehealth appointment.
  • 40 weeks: in-person visit.

 

Although partners/support people are not permitted to attend in-office visits, clients are permitted to have one healthy support person and one healthy doula during labor and birth. Each person attending the birth will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms and asked about recent travel prior to entry to The Birth Center.

Postpartum Home Visits and 6-Week Appointments:

Home visits will still be provided for clients who give birth at LWC. The visiting nurse will wear full personal protective equipment (PPE) and family members will be asked to wait in a different room.

If the baby is born at Bryn Mawr Hospital, postpartum follow-up will be done via telehealth unless there is a problem that cannot be addressed over the phone.

Clients will have the option to have their 6-week postpartum visit in person or via telehealth.

Lactation Consultations and Support Groups:

We are also offering lactation consultations via telehealth.

Virtual lactation consultations are ideal for latch or positioning assistance, minor nipple soreness, pumping help, and follow-up appointments.

In-person consultations are still available and are ideal if you have concerns about your baby’s weight gain, a potential tongue tie, or severe nipple damage. One healthy support person may accompany you to your lactation visit.

Both in-person and telehealth visits are covered by most insurances. Co-pays may apply. If you are unsure which type of lactation consultation will work best for your individual situation, please give us a call and we will help you figure it out.

Peer support and connection with other new parents are also crucial.

Our breastfeeding and new parent support groups will continue to be held via Zoom until it is safe for us to convene in-person again. Please join us! Email ngraham@lifecyclewomancare.org for Zoom login information.

Additional Support:

We understand that COVID-19 and our pandemic related policies may present unique challenges to some of our clients. If you have concerns regarding childcare for older children or transportation needs, or if you have trauma or anxiety that is being exacerbated by isolation from the pandemic, please reach out to us. We are here and willing to problem solve with you and can provide you with additional resources.

A Note to Our Supporters:

As a non-profit, LWC relies on financial donations from our community to help support our programs and services. In this difficult time, we are more grateful than ever for your gifts.

As you may already be aware, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which was passed last month, includes additional tax relief for donors who make charitable contributions in 2020:

  • You can deduct your gift to LWC, even if you take the standard deduction. The CARES Act added a brand new “above-the-line” deduction of up to $300 per taxpayer ($600 per married couple) for cash This means that you can lower your income tax bill by making a gift to LWC today, even if you take the standard deduction on your taxes.
  • If you need to itemize your deductions, there are new charitable deduction limits. The CARES Act increases the existing cap on charitable cash contributions for those who itemize, raising it from 60% of adjusted gross income to 100% in 2020, which means that you’ll be able to deduct more of your cash contributions than last year.

 

To give to LWC, please visit our website or send your donation via check to Lifecycle WomanCare, 918 County Line Road, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010.

We cannot do what we do without the faithful contributions of our supporters and we are immensely grateful for all gifts, no matter the size.

Questions or Concerns?

We’re here for you. Please give us all at 610.525.6086. Thank you for your understanding and adaptability as we work to make LWC a safe space during this unpredictable time.

 

UPDATED 4/8/2020

Thank you for your continued understanding and cooperation as we work to adjust our policies in order to make Lifecycle WomanCare a safe place for all during the COVID-19 pandemic.

During this uncertain time, we have made the difficult decision to limit OFFICE VISITS to clients only (one healthy support person is still welcome during labor and birth).

This decision was not taken lightly as we understand the importance of support throughout pregnancy. However, based on current information about COVID-19, we feel this is in the best interest of our clients and staff in order to minimize exposure.

Although support people and older children cannot attend visits in person, virtual participation is encouraged! Clients are more than welcome to Facetime with their partner, older child(ren), or a support person during their visit.

If you have any questions, please reach out to us at 610.525.6086.

UPDATED 3/17/2020

As best practice recommendations continue to change, Lifecycle WomanCare is committed to keeping client and provider safety a priority as we all collectively work to minimize the impact of COVID-19.

In order to maximize our ability to fulfill our core mission, we have instituted the following policies, effective Tuesday, 3/17:

  • Anyone planning to enter Lifecycle WomanCare’s main office in Bryn Mawr or satellite office in South Philadelphia must answer the following screening questions, which are consistent with Main Line Health’s COVID-19 policy. If you answer “yes” to any of these questions, you will not be permitted inside the building:
    • Have you had a cough, fever, body aches, or a sore throat in the last 14 days?
    • Has anyone in your household had the above symptoms?
    • Have you been in direct contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or a person whose test is pending?
    • Have you traveled outside of the US in the last 14 days by plane or cruise ship?
  • We request that children do not come to office visits at either of our locations. One healthy partner may attend, pending their answers to the above screening questions.
  • Gynecological appointments are on-hold for now, unless you are experiencing an emergent problem. If you have an upcoming appointment, we will reach out to you directly to discuss next steps.
  • Prenatal visits, postpartum visits, and lactation consults will continue. Please call us if you need to make an appointment.
  • You may have one support person and one doula (if applicable) during labor. Both will be screened for symptoms of concern before they are allowed to enter the building. Please see above.
  • At this time, no visitors will be allowed in the building during your postpartum stay.

 

We realize that many of these policies represent a culture shift for LWC, and we hope that you understand that we did not make these decisions lightly.

It is our responsibility to consider all current recommendations regarding COVID-19, do our best to help halt the spread of this virus, and keep everyone who is in our care safe and healthy. We will continue to re-evaluate our policies as time passes and we have more information.

It is our responsibility to consider all current recommendations regarding COVID-19, do our best to help halt the spread of this virus, and keep everyone who is in our care safe and healthy. We will continue to re-evaluate our policies as time passes and we have more information.

As always, we are here to discuss any questions or concerns. Please call us at 610.525.6086.

3/13/2020

As the novel Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, is very much a reality, we understand that it is hard not to feel unsettled. Our number one priority at Lifecycle WomanCare is to keep our clients safe. We have created, and will be continuing to adapt, policies and procedures to that end.

This situation is still evolving and we are constantly reassessing what it means for LWC. As new information continues to become available, our response is being guided by evidence-based, best practice information from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG), and the Pennsylvania Department of Health. We are also working closely with our affiliated hospital, Bryn Mawr Hospital, and the Main Line Health System.

Here is what we know: healthy younger adults are at low risk for severe disease and children seem to do well if exposed to the virus.

Here is what we do not know: we do not have adequate data about the effect of this disease on pregnant and postpartum people, or on newborn babies. As such, we are asking the following of our clients:

If you, or anyone in your household, is experiencing symptoms of concern (i.e. body aches, a dry cough, and/or a fever), please call our office before coming in for any of the following:

  • Prenatal appointments
  • Postpartum appointments
  • Lactation consultations
  • Gynecological appointments


For clients who are expecting to give birth soon, we have explicit guidelines that will be discussed with your midwife or nurse practitioner during your prenatal appointments.

At this time, classes and workshops will be offered online via Zoom. If you are currently enrolled in a class or workshop, we will be in contact to provide you with further details and instructions. Please email Nikki Graham, ngraham@lifecyclewomancare.org, with questions or concerns and she will get back to you as soon as possible.

All breastfeeding and new parent support groups will be on hold until further notice. Please check our website for updates.

To protect our clients, all LWC personnel with symptoms of concern have been advised not to come into work. Hand washing remains paramount. While cleaning and sterilization are always of utmost importance at LWC, we are employing additional sanitation measures.

We will do our best to provide updates as the situation warrants, but please do not hesitate to call us at 610-525-6086 if you have any questions or concerns. We also recommend reviewing the following resources for up-to-date information about COVID-19 and its effect on pregnancy, newborns, and breastfeeding:

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/pregnancy-faq.html

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/pregnancy-guidance-breastfeeding.html

https://www.unicef.org/stories/novel-coronavirus-outbreak-what-parents-should-know

https://m.acog.org/Clinical-Guidance-and-Publications/Practice-Advisories/Practice-Advisory-Novel-Coronavirus2019

If you have any questions or concerns, please call us at 610.525.6086..

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