Many new moms are delivering babies during the COVID-19 pandemic with only one significant person at their side due to visitation restrictions. During difficult flu seasons, there have been similar visitation restrictions to protect moms and babies. In 2019, a high number of flu cases resulted in visitor limitations in the labor and delivery units at UF Health Jacksonville and UF Health North.
Amber Bird and Keegan Swieter looked forward to delivering their first child at UF Health North. Everything seemed routine with the pregnancy. Bird enjoyed the care she received at UF Health Women’s Specialists – North and was comfortable as she headed toward the birth. As her due date drew near, however, Bird started to experience complications.
On Dec. 29, 2019, Bird’s labor began by induction due to her high blood pressure. A very long and difficult labor ensued, as the baby became stuck in the birth canal. There were some concerns about the umbilical cord, but her providers worked to continue a vaginal delivery and avoid a cesarean section surgery.
Kate Washburn, a certified nurse midwife, was on the team monitoring Bird’s labor progress closely in case a C-section was necessary. Washburn has been delivering babies at UF Health North since it opened in 2017.
“I try to make sure patients are aware of the full clinical picture regarding their care,” Washburn said. “Our goal is vaginal delivery, but not at the cost of the baby or mother’s life.”
At the last possible moment, the baby fortunately moved through the birth canal without the need for surgery. Parker Swieter was born on Dec. 31, 2019, after 41 hours of labor – New Year’s Eve.