Expecting mothers can experience enormous amounts of worry and anxiety. With the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the world, expecting mothers have even more reasons to be worried when hospitals are separating newborns from their mothers within seconds of birth.
Newborn taken from mother seconds after birth
“I saw her and felt her on my chest for like maybe three to five seconds.”
This is what mother, Veronica Batton, told KSHB in a story by Lindsay Shively, March 24th.
Veronica Batton emailed her doctor with concerns about a cough. She agreed to be tested for the coronavirus, but the test results were not back by the time she went into labor.
According to KSHB, Batton claimed, it took a full week for the results to come back, four days after she gave birth to her baby girl at St. Luke’s East Hospital in Lee’s Summit, Missouri.
While waiting for the test results, Veronica had no contact with her newborn daughter other than the 3-5 seconds directly after delivery, the story reports.
Dr. Ginny Boos is the director of infection prevention for St. Luke’s Health System. According to KSHB, in regards to the amount of time it takes for coronavirus test results to come back, Dr. Boos said,
“That is a ‘big problem’ that causes frustration on ‘multiple levels’.”
KSHB reports the turnaround time is getting quicker.
“Just within the past week,” Boos said, “they now have access to a test with a quicker turnaround time.”
Dr. Boos is quoted by KSHB,
“We are very sensitive to new moms and babies. We have to sometimes make tough decisions that as a result of some of the other delays in the system that we don’t have control over.”
Christopher Frizzelle, writing for The Stranger out of Seattle, reports that separating newborns from their mothers if the mother tested positive for COVID-19 is the recommendation of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, which is based on CDC recommendations.
But if the mom is a PUI or is COVID-positive, the recommendation from the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) is that medical staff should maintain social distancing of at least six feet between the mom and the baby.
In other words, “Not to do skin-to-skin contact. And the mom goes through labor in a mask. Can you imagine going through natural childbirth, breathing, working, in an air mask the whole time? And then we deliver, and we try to keep them separate from each other.”
Can a mother refuse to be separated from their newborn?
Dr. Brian Brimmage, an obstetrician at UNC Rex Hospital in Raleigh, North Carolina, understands the anxiety created for mothers who fear being separated from their baby after delivery.
“The recommendation is wise in order to protect the health of the baby.”
Dr. Brimmage is quoted as saying,
“With any recommendation we give as providers, patients always have the option of refusing the recommendations we give. It isn’t a prison. I can’t force you to do anything you don’t want to do. Some moms will refuse to separate. In those situations I’ve heard about them rooming in, but keeping mom and baby six feet apart, or setting up a curtain or a drape between the mom and baby. These measures are better than nothing.” (Emphasis added.)
History has proven parents risk losing their children to CPS when they question or go against medical advice
MedicalKidnap.com has been covering horror stories of families who have had their children taken away because they don’t conform to traditional medicine, choose a holistic approach, or question or refuse a doctor’s recommendation.
In 2014, Terri LaPoint, reporting for MedicalKidnap.com, highlighted the horror story about the Rengo family who had all three of their children taken from them by CPS for having a home birth and not using steroids on their oldest son’s eczema.
CPS made the claim, which led to the parents being charged with neglect even though a pediatrician saw the home-birthed twins and concluded in her report they were healthy.
“Research shows that infants do not comprehend separation from their mother; they feel abandoned when they aren’t with her. [Emphasis added]
Has it really come to the point where CPS can justify the emotional trauma to the children simply because parents don’t choose to follow every recommendation of the medical associations?”
In President Obama’s immigration speech, November 2014, he asked,
“Are we a nation that accepts the cruelty of ripping children from their parents’ arms? Or are we a nation that values families, and works to keep them together?”
“Yet it is this very nation whose Child Protection Service agencies have ripped tiny babies from their parents’ arms simply for the crime of disagreeing with a medical decision. If this could happen to a family who has only sought the most natural of care, then whose children are safe from CPS? Should this type of apparent medical tyranny be tolerated?”
The Rengos aren’t the only family to have their children taken by CPS for being “unconventional,” to have spent thousands of dollars in legal fees and to endure months of separation from their children by simply choosing alternative medicine.
In 2015, MedicalKidnap.com found evidence, in the form of voicemail, from a hospital in New York that states security will be called and the newborn will be taken into custody if the parents refuse an antibacterial eye ointment and vitamin injection.
The voicemail, which has since been taken down from YouTube.com, at the owner’s request, due to “pressure,” was received from a staff member at Rochester General Hospital in New York. The voicemail stated,
“Hi _____ this is ______ from Rochester General. Sorry to take so long to get back to you. I have a policy that you inquired about vitamin K and erythromycin… our policy here – and you were inquiring about that. I have them in my hands, which you can pick them up and copy if you wanted to… Our policy says all newborns will receive the mandated eye (ointment) and vitamin K injections.
If anybody declines, or the parents continue to refuse the interventions, then the security is informed that medical custody is necessary… The hospital will take over medical custody.”
And just last year (2019) the Chicago Tribune reported on a federal lawsuit where parents sued doctors, the hospital and the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) for medically kidnapping their newborns when they refused the Vitamin K shot at birth.
Editor Brian Shilhavy covered the story which states,
“The members of the Health Department basically conclude that since it is DCFS policy to mandate the Vitamin K shot, that medical professionals have the authority to take custody of the child and administer the Vitamin K shot over the objections of the parents, even without DCFS involvement. Such ‘custody’ can be as little as only ‘2 minutes,’ the time it takes to give the shot.”
Finally, there is war between doctors and parents regarding vaccines
Medical Kidnap published a story where Dr. James Lyons-Weiler, author and research scientist, is “concerned about doctors and Child Protective Services overruling parents who choose not to vaccinate.”
Dr. Lyons-Weiler is quoted as stated in a video, no longer available on the Facebook page VAXXED, November 28, 2017, as saying,
“In the United States, there is a new rash of what can only be called Medical Kidnap.”
Questions posed by Dr. Lyons-Weiler are,
- Where do parents stand?
- What are our rights?
“When the government acts as though they have the authority to take rights away, that’s when people need to stand up. That’s when the people, especially in the United States, have always recognized that we need to stand up.
And I can’t imagine a right that is more sacred to a mom than the bonding moments that occur right after birth.”
So…do mothers really have the option to refuse isolation from their newborn?
If the government and Child Protection Services (CPS) are stepping in, within hours of a child being born, simply because a family declines antibacterial ointment, vitamin shots and vaccines, it is difficult to believe a family has the right to refuse to be isolated away from their newborn baby with the panic and rise of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and not have CPS involvement.
In the U.S., and around the world, babies are already being separated from their mothers with confirmed COVID-19.
But, even those mothers who are presumed to be infected, otherwise known as PUI
, can still be separated from their baby until the transmission-based precautions are discontinued.
Gretchen Vogel with Science posed the question in a recent story,
“Do newborn babies need to be separated from mothers infected with the new coronavirus?”
“The scant data available have led to apparently contradictory recommendations: Some health authorities, including in China and the United States, recommend isolation of newborns from their infected mothers; others, including the World Health Organization (WHO), strongly recommend breastfeeding and keeping mothers and babies together, while taking precautions such as the mother wearing a mask.”
According to Vogel,
“More than 200 million pregnant women around the world are potentially at risk of infection with the new virus. Studies are only beginning to shed light on the degree of danger that pathogen, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), represents to them and their newborns. The initial data seem cautiously reassuring, but researchers around the world are racing to collect data that should provide more definitive answers.”
But, Manuel Schmid, a neonatal expert at the University Hospital Zurich, tells Science,
“It’s a philosophical question: What do you do when you don’t have data?”
The story reports, Dr. Schmid and his colleagues have “opted for a middle ground, given the known benefits of physical contact and breastfeeding, which boosts a newborn’s immune system.”
“The decision is ultimately in the family’s hands, and it depends on factors including the health of the mother and baby,” the story claims.
Quoting Dr. Schmid,
“We advise parents and talk with them about risks and benefits. It seems most children are not affected [by the new virus], and those who are affected seem to have mild disease.”
We are reminded by Vogel when she reports,
“This dilemma is only one of several that pregnant women face during the pandemic. Many hospitals, in an effort to prevent the spread of the virus to staff or other patients, have reportedly prohibited all visitors, even including a pregnant woman’s partner.”
A “glimmer of good news” is claimed by Vogel, but it’s hard to find any hope, “good news” and ease of mind when everything is,
“Based on the limited data so far.”
The disease the virus causes, coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), rarely causes severe complications in children, including newborns. This is the “good news.”
Because of this limited data, transmission of the disease is still unclear.
According to the story published by Science,
“The clue came from a specific kind of antibody, called IgM, which is the first type that forms after an infection. Some kinds of antibodies, called IgG, are known to pass from the mother to the fetus through the placenta, protecting babies from bacteria and viruses they might encounter after birth. All seven of the babies tested in the studies had IgG antibodies to the new coronavirus, presumably from their mothers. IgM antibodies, however, are usually too large to cross the placenta. Nevertheless, researchers found IgM antibodies to the new coronavirus in three of the seven babies.
Their presence in the babies’ blood suggests the infants might have been exposed to the virus in utero and developed their own antibodies. However, the authors of an accompanying commentary note that tests for IgM antibodies can frequently give incorrect results. ‘More definitive evidence is needed,’ they say, before pregnant women and their doctors assume that babies can be infected in utero.”
David Baud, an expert on emerging disease and pregnancy at the Lausanne University Hospital, has,
“Shifted from recommending isolation and no breastfeeding to WHO’s more nuanced approach,” according to Vogel.
Baud is quoted as saying,
“We do not separate mothers and babies.”
“We really encourage breastfeeding.”
But Baud does recommend mothers wear a mask, wash their hands and breasts before feeding, and take other precautions to avoid the spread of the virus to her baby. And,
“If a mother is too sick to breastfeed, she should be given the chance to pump her milk if she wishes,” he says.
According to Science and medical studies,
“Breastmilk is known to help protect babies against infections in several ways, including by transferring antibodies against infections a mother has fought off, notes Pura Rayco-Solon, a WHO scientist who helped develop the guidelines.”
The story reports,
“No one has reported testing for antibodies against COVID-19 in breastmilk, but one study in 2004 found antibodies to the SARS virus, which is related to SARS-CoV-2, in the breastmilk of a mother who had recovered from a COVID-19–like disease during pregnancy and later gave birth to a healthy, full-term infant. So far, no evidence has been found of the virus itself in breastmilk samples from more than a dozen women infected with COVID-19.”
Data on whether pregnant women have more severe cases of COVID-19, or less, is unclear based on the reporting from Science. But they also claimed, according to Denise Jamieson, an expert on emerging infectious disease and pregnancy at Emory University, it is too soon to understand the full impact of the disease during pregnancy.
“I’ve stopped saying the data we have are reassuring,” she says. “We don’t have nearly enough information to draw conclusions.”
An international registry has been launched to help add evidence and collect data on individuals infected with the virus, and who are pregnant. According to David Baud,
“This worldwide surveillance might give us very precious information that we can collect — and implement — very quickly.”
By Allie Parker, Guest writer