Birth Is Still a Joyous Occasion


“I asked my OB, Dr. Aparna Sridhar, what is birth going to look like during COVID-19?” wondered Lakin Saucedo. Lakin gave birth to her daughter Ryan Saucedo, with wife Lindsey Foster, on April 5th, 2020. ⠀⠀The first change expectant mothers will notice is fewer visits to the hospital. Lakin enjoyed sending messages via the MyUCLA Health portal, remarking, “Dr. Sridhar never got sick of us asking endless questions, specifically after things started to change with the pandemic.” ⠀

One new addition to the birthing process is electronic tablets in all delivery and postpartum rooms, so family members can be present without physically being there. Lakin recalls her experience, “We set up the video call so my mom was by the bed and I could hear her saying encouraging words while everything was going on. One interesting thing was that my two brothers and my dad were able to be more present in the room than they normally would have been in the hospital. They were able to see my baby right after she was born, and I talked with them right after. That was really awesome.” ⠀

Photo: Nick Carranza/UCLA Health Marketing

“Birthing may be different, but different doesn’t mean something isn’t good,” reveals Dr. Sridhar. “With Zoom connections, family members can call into the rooms and be with the patient, virtually, for as long as they want.”⠀⠀While staff is prioritizing telehealth visits, Dr. Sridhar reaffirms, “If a patient needs to be seen, we’re definitely seeing them. We’re doing a lot of balancing to navigate the stress of our patients and keep the public health in mind.”

UCLA Health also offers online lactation consultants, online birthing classes, and room tours.⠀During a follow-up telehealth appointment with Dr. Sridhar, Lakin wanted to express her gratitude for a wonderful delivery experience. She effuses, “We were well taken care of at UCLA Health. They took so much stress off of us. I feel really grateful for the whole process and all the nurses who put their health on the line to be there to help us.”