EVESHAM >> Amanda Sigwart of Marlton delivered her first child, son Mason Parker Sigwart, on March 23 as the COVID-19 pandemic was taking hold across the country.
Although she knew she was going to have a C-section because of her baby’s breech position, she was surprised during her routine 37th-week doctor’s appointment when a scan revealed low amniotic fluid and she was instructed to go directly to Virtua Voorhees Hospital.
“I was scared for many reasons,” she said. “I was a first-time mom and didn’t know what to expect, I was worried about the health of my baby, I had never had a surgery before, and we were in the beginning stages of a pandemic. I cried the whole way to the hospital.”
Amanda’s mood changed when she was admitted to the Labor and Delivery floor at Virtua; she recalls experiencing a complete sense of calm.
“My labor and delivery nurses were absolutely amazing,” she explained. “They answered all my questions and were with me every step of the way. While my son’s delivery was not what I thought it would be, it was, in fact, the most amazing experience of my life.”
Following Mason’s birth, Amanda describes the time the young family spent in the hospital as very “peaceful and serene.” No visitors were allowed — it was just Amanda, her husband Chuck, and baby Mason. That quiet time allowed the Sigwarts to absorb everything the nurses taught them about the post-partum phase for Amanda and caring for an infant. The new parents spent their time playing their favorite country music songs and getting to know their son.
“We created so many amazing memories during our time at Virtua,” she said. “We were in a hospital, which could have been the most chaotic, scariest place to be during a pandemic — but it was the exact opposite. The nurses never uttered a word about the virus and made us feel so comfortable. We felt very safe in our own little bubble.”
The experience of the Sigwart family reflects Virtua’s continuous efforts to safely deliver babies during this challenging time. To date, 2,106 babies have been born at Virtua hospitals since the novel coronavirus was first reported in the United States. Virtua continues to enhance and evolve its safety measures to keep all patients and staff healthy. Below are the precautions in place at the mother/baby units of Virtua Memorial, Virtua Our Lady of Lourdes, and Virtua Voorhees hospitals.
• All women delivering at Virtua are tested for COVID-19.
• Virtua staff wear masks and eyewear at all times. Patients are required to wear masks when interacting with the staff.
• The amount of staff going in and out of patient rooms is limited to minimize unessential interaction.
• New moms are limited to one person who must stay at Virtua for the entire time that mom and baby are in the hospital.