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  • Hospital Gives Newborn A Face Shield When They Sent Him Home

    The baby wore the face shield from the hospital room until he got in the car.
    by Rachel Perez .
Hospital Gives Newborn A Face Shield When They Sent Him Home
PHOTO BY courtesy of Hanie Banzuelo
  • Giving birth in the time of COVID-19 can be scary, and moms are more worried about their newborns, who may be more vulnerable to the disease as the elderly are.

    Mom Hanie Banzuelo, from Quezon City, was pregnant with her fourth child (a son after having three daughters) and was nearly due to give birth early in April 2020. She had regular communication with her obstetrician-gynecologist.

    During COVID-19, all pregnant women are advised to only go to the hospital when they're about to give birth. The mom of three went to the hospital, thinking she'd only have the typical blood pressure (BP) check, as advised by her doctor. Little did Hanie know that she would be giving birth that day.

    "It was just because of my preeclampsia that I was admitted for emergency C-section (CS)," Hanie told Smartparenting.com.ph via Facebook Messenger. She was set to have a vaginal delivery if her BP normalized.

    Preeclampsia, or having high blood pressure during pregnancy, affects the amount of blood and oxygen that the baby receives via the placenta. It is one of the major causes of preterm birth, and in some cases, stillbirth.

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    After three weeks of monitoring, Hanie's blood pressure (BP) wouldn't normalize even after doubling the dosage of her medication. Her BP was always above the standard 120/80 — it even reached a high 160/120. Her doctor already told her to go to the hospital.

    But since it's a long way from their home with having to go through many checkpoints, the preggo mom opted to go to a nearby lying-in center to have her BP checked by a professional. Hanie's BP was still high, so she had no choice but to brave the long trip.


    On April 9, Hanie's newborn son, Hans Ritz Emmanuel, was the "first baby delivered after almost a month of no-hospital admission at the University of Sto. Tomas Hospital (USTH)." Before his birth, the hospital had a strict no-admittance policy for non-emergency cases to protect its patients from the pandemic.

    Hanie was supposed to get a blood pressure check but ended up having an emergency C-section.
    Courtesy of Hanie Banzuelo


    When Hanie finally heard her son cry, she could only mutter a big "Thank You, Lord." With everything that's happening, she considers Hanz a great blessing and a living witness to God's goodness. "We are so blessed to be safe during my delivery," Hanie said.

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    Hans was given a face shield by doctors

    Hans's photo is a reminder of all the newborns that were born during the COVID-19 pandemic.
    Courtesy of Hanie Banzuelo
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    "Hans will be a reminder that he is part of this generation of [the] pandemic, but was able to strongly survive even with the threat of COVID-19 through God's grace," Hanie wrote on Facebook.

    After just two days at the hospital, Hanie and Hans were sent home on April 11 in time to celebrate Easter at home. USTH offered and gave a face shield to Hans to protect him as they pass through the hospital hallways.

    Doctors of the University of Sto. Tomas Hospital carefully places the face shield on Hans.
    Courtesy of Hanie Banzuelo
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    It was the doctors who carefully placed the face shield on Hans, and Hanie was thankful for it. Her newborn baby boy only wore it as they left their hospital room until they reached their car.

    Hans with a health professional: He wore the face shield only until he and his mom boarded the car.
    Courtesy of Hanie Banzuelo

    The Philippine Pediatric Society (PPS) and the Philippine Society of Newborn Medicine (PSNbM) warns against the use of face shields on newborns due to the high risk of suffocation. Newborns have smaller airways and will have a harder time breathing through a face shield. It also poses an increased risk of suffocation and strangulation.

    Babies and young children do not need to wear any facial covering when at home, assuming that they have not been exposed to anyone with COVID-19. If you need to bring your baby outside, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends covering the infant carrier with a blanket o helps protect the baby but still allows them to breathe comfortably.

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