Huntsville mom-to-be excited about hospital visitor number changes as coronavirus fight progresses

A group of hospitals in the Huntsville Hospital Health System have changed their visitation policy effective Saturday.

Posted: Mar 6, 2021 11:18 PM
Updated: Mar 8, 2021 12:28 PM

After Gov. Kay Ivey revised the state's safer at home order this week, hospitals in North Alabama are making changes to their visitor policies.

A group of hospitals within the Huntsville Hospital Health System (HHHS) are now allowing non-COVID patients to have two guests with them.

Jennifer Barksdale said her due date is just two days away and is thankful for the changes.

"I was worried I wasn't going to be able to have one support person in the room, let alone this new thing with two people that they have, so I'm very happy right now that this is changed," Jennifer Barksdale said.

She was worried this would be the first time she would have to choose between her mom and her fiancé being in the room when she gives birth.

But on Saturday morning, the Huntsville Hospital Health System confirmed: Huntsville Hospital , Huntsville Women and Children, Madison hospitals and Marshall Medical Centers have updated its visitation policy.

You'll still have to wear a mask inside and check in and out of the hospital regularly.

Tracy Abney is a doula in Madison and her job is to help mothers navigate the birthing experience. But this pandemic has halted Abney's work and caused both her and her clients a whole new set of 'what if's'

"If somebody needs to go down the street to get a snack or something it's not going to be scary for me to be alone in the hospital," Barksdale said.

Patients will still have access to virtual visitation, but Abney said for her duties, that's not always a great option since a lot of her work is hands-on.

"Having that continuous support the entire labor and not just on the phone calling me or over a screen trying to catch up on what's been happening," Abney said.

Barksdale is just of many expecting moms who now feel a sense of relief as the due date nears. For this mother especially, the policy change came with perfect timing.

"To have this ease up just 3 days before delivery and I'm just so excited," Barksdale said.

WAAY 31 News reached out to hospitals outside of the Huntsville Hospital Health Care System and we're waiting to hear if their policies are changing or have changed as well.

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