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New mom finds a silver lining amid the pandemic

Coronavirus in Kansas

DODGE CITY, Kan. (KSNW) – With hospitals on the frontlines at times during the pandemic, that can add stress for soon-to-be moms. 

At Western Plains Family Birth Center, extra safety precautions are in place to make sure mothers and their newborns stay safe and healthy.

Expecting mothers are tested for COVID-19, significant others are screened for the virus, masks must be worn, and once inside the birth center, the mother and her support person must remain in the building throughout their stay.

One of the main precautions, however, is a restriction on the number of people allowed inside the birth center.

“The biggest change is just that they can’t have their whole family here. But what we’ve found is some of the parents have actually enjoyed that. Just having that special time alone with their baby,” said Ranae Riley, Director of Family Birth Center.

This was true for mom of two, Brooke Applegate.

Applegate and her husband welcomed their new baby into the world nearly three weeks ago, but giving birth to her second child was a night and day experience compared to her first child.

“I was screened for COVID as soon as I checked in, and pending my results, that’s when my support person, my husband, could join us in the room,” said Applegate.

She says the biggest difference was not having her family by her side. Only her husband, Eli was allowed in.

“It was really heartbreaking for me, but it was almost a blessing in disguise,” said Applegate.

The alone time allowed Brooke and Eli to bond with their newborn, Declan.

They were able to rest and recover while having extra support from doctors and nurses.

For new mom Brooke, she says she is grateful she was able to find a silver lining amid the pandemic.

“This is just the miracle of life, and so just being able to keep doing our jobs and keep helping the mommas and babies, we’re just really blessed that we can do that,” said Gina Benton, Nurse at Western Plains Family Birth Center.

The hospital has since allowed an additional support person to visit and assist the new parents and their babies. This additional person can only be present for limited hours from 11-1 a.m. and 6-8 p.m.

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