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Protecting Babies And Their Mothers From H1N1

By Kelli Grant
Published: October 30, 2009, 6:01 PM

There are times when a hospital is the only place that can cure what ails you. But what if another potential health threat could lie inside hospital walls? That's the concern when mothers arriving to give birth must be cared for as others are being treated for the H1N1 virus.

If you're visiting mom and baby at Sanford's Birth Place and you're not feeling well, they'll provide you with a mask, but they'd just prefer you to stay home.

Little Caden Roe isn't even 24 hours old and his mom and dad are already taking extra steps to protect him from the flu.

"We've decided to limit our family members just to immediate family and try to keep him safe that way as well," Sarah Roe said.

It's a decision Sanford Dr. Jeanne Hassebroek-Johnson says is smart.

"Right now, we're really hoping that only those people that are critical to the care and the emotional support of mom come by. Because we don't want all kinds of extra visitors and all sorts of extra potential for infection," Hassebroek-Johnson said.

Hospitals across the state are also recommending kids under 18 don't visit any hospital patients, no matter what floor they're on. And health care workers at Sanford's Birth Place are taking measures to protect patients from H1N1 a step further.

"The most important consideration is after baby is born, if mom is actively infected with H1N1, we have to separate mom from baby and keep mom and that baby separate from the other moms and babies," Hassebroek-Johnson said.

And while the decision is up to families, Hassebroek-Johnson says medically speaking, if flu symptoms aren't present, it may be best that baby stay in the room with mom at all times.

"We've kind of requested him to be in here and he went for his bath last night and he'll have to do that today, but otherwise he'll just be with us," Roe said.

But luckily, little Caden has some immunity. His mom got vaccinated against the H1N1 flu virus before she gave birth.

It's all the more protection they'll have as they head out into the real world.

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