Covenant Children’s loosens visitor policy, allowing birth photographer back in delivery room

Covenant hospital loosening visitor policy

LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Covenant Children’s is now allowing non-COVID patients to bring two visitors with them into the hospital.

Nurse Manager for the Labor and Delivery and Antepartum units, Kimberly Cobb, says the policy change took place last month.

“It’s the same exact process we were using during COVID when the numbers were high. We’ve just kind of laxed it down to letting those people have their two support people now,” Cobb said.

The previous rule, only allowing one visitor, was especially challenging for some in the Labor and Delivery unit.

Cobb says some families enjoyed the more intimate experience, but she’s missed moments like bringing new parents and babies out into a full waiting room.

“Especially first-time moms going into having their baby, they want everyone there. They want the support,” Cobb said.

A doula is a professional who helps families through the birth process. Under the restrictions, doulas don’t count as a visitor, but photographers do.

Lacie Freelen captured her sister’s delivery in 2019 and was ready to start marketing herself as a birth photographer.

“I had five births lined up for 2020. I was expecting on getting more. I was really excited and then, of course, the pandemic hit in March. And so that dream of mine got put on hold,” Freelen said.

She knows some birth photographers who became doulas, so they could continue doing their job.

Under the new policy, Freelen was able to capture her first delivery in a year last week.

“You’re capturing a family meeting each other for the first time. You’re getting raw emotions, you know. You may be getting, you know, pain. You may be getting tears of happiness,” Freelen said.

Cobb says even through the hospital window, families were creative to make the moment special for new parents.

“We had people that would have signs out there, practically a tailgate situation, so that there was still kind of that excitement around it,” Cobb said.

Freelen hopes she’ll be able to give more families a third-party look into their special day soon.

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