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Jillian Simon

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What are the challenges you’re facing as a midwife practicing during the pandemic?

It has been challenging to manage the daily (even hourly) change in information and guidelines for care.  Some days I would receive 4-5 official emails with updates on Covid-19.  It required massive amounts of work to integrate this information and adapt our practice policies.  We had many team meetings and developed multiple client communication tools to keep everyone informed.       

I am a member of an interdisciplinary team of on-call surgical assists for Cesarean births specially trained for Covid-19 positive or suspected women.  It has been difficult to balance the risks of caring for these patients with risks to myself and my family, and difficult to balance the time demands for my own midwifery practice with helping with this team.  I am grateful for the incredible cooperation of the team and impressed at the carefully choreographed procedure we developed for a safe surgery. 

How has your midwifery practice changed since the pandemic?

Really everything we do—in clinic, hospital or at home—is different.  Every visit takes more time as we don and doff PPE.  We have worked really hard to keep our focus on individualized care despite our ‘distance’ from clients when wearing PPE, or doing telehealth visits in place of appointments.  

Can you please describe a snapshot of a recent workday?

One of the most rewarding days I have had recently involved ‘seeing’ families for virtual lactation consultations.  I was skeptical about the usefulness of this technology but it worked so well and I was able to help to help families get her some major breastfeeding hurdles.  

What, if anything, is helping you get through this crisis?

I know that our families rely on us right now.  We are doing our best to be a steady guide through rough waters! Knowing I have done my best to help ease parent’s anxieties and keep families healthy makes it all worth it. 

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

I am so impressed with our province’s response to the pandemic.  My hospital team was ON IT, with excellent communication and support throughout, good information flowed from BCCDC and VCH and I was always so impressed with Dr Bonnie Henry and Adrian Dix’ daily updates.  I hope we continue to do well and keep our numbers low.