NHRMC allows patients to have up to two visitors

NEW HANOVER COUNTY (WWAY) — Starting Monday, New Hanover Regional Medical Center patients were allowed up to two visitors. It’s big news for expectant mothers in the Cape Fear.

Early on in the pandemic, patients were not allowed any visitors unless they were close to death. According to NHRMC patient experience director, Deborah Migneco, this meant mothers-to-be had went through delivery with only one support partner for their own safety.

“Little infants, we don’t want them to be exposed,” said Migneco, “nor do we want our moms to be exposed. So we were very careful in the beginning stages of the pandemic.”

Later on, that rule was amended to allow one visitor. But as of Monday, the rule has changed again.

“We slowly have opened up more visitation,” Migneco explained, “but we are very strict on maintaining masking, washing hands, social distancing, while present and visiting.”

But as long as those rules can be followed, mothers will be allowed one person to check in and stay with them, remaining together for the duration of the stay. They’ll also be allowed an additional visitor 24/7, depending on the mother and child’s health and waiting room capacity.

“Now, those waiting rooms were built to not necessarily social distance back in the day. So we just have to be mindful of whenever someone is waiting.”

Migneco said they’ve already trained extra staff to watch waiting rooms, check people in, and make sure everyone remains safe during their visit.

One mom-to-be, Margaret Kotz, is due in just a few short weeks. She worried early in the pandemic she’d have to give birth on her own, but is relieved to hear about the new policy.

“That would be terrifying to me,” said Kotz. “Especially since it’s my first. I don’t know what to expect. In the event that my husband can’t be there, which I don’t know why he wouldn’t be, I’m glad I can have my mom or both of them if need be.”

It’s a relief to many in Margaret’s shoes.

According to Migneco, “Having someone who is with you and another who is close to you is super important for just the emotional side of it as well as the physical and psychological side of birthing.”

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