St. Bernards possibly changing prenatal appointment guest policy

St. Bernards possibly changing prenatal appointment guest policy

JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Expectant parents with St. Bernards might soon be allowed to bring a guest with them to their appointments again.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, St. Bernards stopped allowing visitors at prenatal appointments for extra safety.

Vanna Headley is a patient with St. Bernards OB-GYN Associates and will be four months pregnant on Monday.

She says going to these appointments alone is stressful, and loved ones miss out on an important part of pregnancy when they can’t be there.

“This is my third pregnancy so I feel like it may not have been affecting me as much as let’s say first-time moms but it still is really sad," said Headley. "This may be my last child and it’s our first daughter, so honestly I feel really bad for my husband, he’s really missing out on some magical moments.”

Vanna took to Facebook earlier this week asking expectant moms to reach out to St. Bernards about changing the policy.

The post got a lot of response, with almost 200 shares and several comments from expectant mothers in Northeast Arkansas.

Now, St. Bernards has plans to possibly change the policy.

Media Relations manager Mitchell Nail says St. Bernards knows how important this is for expectant mothers.

“It’s an understandable need for a support person, a loved one to be present during these types of appointments," said Nail. "It’s an exciting time and the last thing we ever want to do is diminish the role of that support person, that loved one.”

Nail said St. Bernards number one goal is protecting everyone involved.

St. Bernards is now looking at allowing one guest per appointment by the end of September, but it all depends on the trend of COVID-19 cases in the area.

“Patience is required on every front, our physicians want to change the policy, our staff wants to change the policy. I know people in the community want us to change the policy, we’re just doing our best to make sure everybody is safe before that decision is made,” said Nail.

St. Bernards will notify patients and post to the St. Bernards website if there is a change to the policy.

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