22 Ask the Expert Nathan Meltzer, M.D. OB-GYN Schedule an appointment today! Dr. Meltzer is a board-certified OB-GYN practicing at Kootenai Clinic OB-GYN. You can learn more at KH.org/obgyn or by calling (208) 625-4970 . Q Is it safe to deliver my baby at the hospital? I am concerned about COVID-19. 2020 has highlighted the extent to which medicine is a career of lifelong learning. We will never have the luxury of setting a mental cruise control and treating disease the way we first learned to in school. Case in point: Medical scientists have intensively studied viruses for years. Some viruses are known to be mild in pregnancy and others critically severe. However, the novelty of COVID-19 demanded that we rapidly assess the viral effects in China, then Italy, then New York City, wondering how it might manifest here in Idaho. We have continuously adjusted our preparations for safe pregnancy care. Safetyfirst, compassionalways At Kootenai Health, we are fortunate to have a proactive administration that supports a science-forward and physician-led response and does so with great heart. Together, we created COVID-19 protocols that endeavored to keep our entire system as strong as possible. We asked our community to help us, even when the sacrifices were great—phone and telehealth visits, masks and shields, delaying procedures, and even limiting the number of loved ones who could be present for that special ultrasound or day of delivery. Our providers at Kootenai Clinic OB-GYN and our wonderful staff at the Kootenai Health Family Birth Center are well-versed in the most up-to-date safety protocols and COVID-19 testing recommendations to ensure the safety of our staff and patients. Comfort andpeaceofmind We do everything possible to ensure expecting parents have access to top-of-the-line amenities to ensure comfort. This includes quiet, private rooms—each with jetted tubs and upgraded technology. We are also doing our best to incorporate additional support for our patients—whether that be a spouse, family member, friend or a certified doula. If something does not go as planned, our patients have quick, direct access to our 24/7 OB-GYN hospitalists and Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. I sleep easy knowing that our Family Birth Center offers something priceless. We know that most pregnancies are normal, but we also stand ready 24/7/365 to help you through the unexpected. We always put in the extra effort to learn new things, and we will be there to hold your hand through these changing times, right up until you are holding the hand of your little one.