Women go to drive-up prenatal appointments due to COVID-19

Posted at 4:45 PM, Apr 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-22 21:51:49-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Expectant moms are driving-up to prenatal appointments due to COVID-19.

Erica and Rich Veith pulled up to the TriStar Centennial Women’s Hospital parking lot for their prenatal appointment on Wednesday. Dr. Nicole Heidemann, an obstetrician, asked Erica to lean her seat back. “Moving around like a crazy baby in there!”

For this couple, hearing a heartbeat while staying safe in their vehicle, was a pretty magical experience. Erica said they just hit the 24 week mark.

“This is definitely unlike anything we ever imagined, but so grateful to be able to do this and not forgo this appointment,” Veith said.

As many medical facilities restrict visitors, and implement telehealth, it presents challenges according to TriStar Women’s and Children’s Hospital Chief Operating Officer Amber Price.

“Telemedicine is a great thing and we are using that for obstetrics, but what we learned is it’s not the same for a mom to talk to a doctor on camera as it is for her to be reassured by her baby’s heartbeat," Price said.

It also allows families to be at the appointment together.

“I appreciate the ability to be here as well, with some of the rules ongoing with my presence being allowed or not being allowed at ultrasounds and that nature, it’s really great to have the opportunity to be here and support the mom-to-be,” Rich Veith said.

If more tests are needed, there’s also two assessment areas in a tent in the parking lot. “And then we have someone here who could watch people’s children for a minute in the car if mom does have to step outside,” Price said.

As the appointment ended, Erica and Rich said they’re excited to meet their firstborn soon.

The drive-up process also allows patients with respiratory symptoms to still be treated as well since they can stay isolated in their vehicle.