"As a mom, when you can't be there to help feed bottles and get to know your new baby, it's very emotional," Kim Flores told Good Morning America

By Jen Juneau
March 31, 2020 11:45 AM
Advertisement
NICU parents unable to visit baby in the hospital
Credit: Courtesy Kim Flores

Nico Flores is less than 3 weeks old, but he and his parents are only able to communicate virtually for now amid the growing coronavirus pandemic.

The newborn’s mom Kim Flores and dad Juan Flores opened up to Good Morning America on Friday about their baby boy, who was born at Northside Hospital Atlanta on March 10 and is currently in the neonatal intensive care unit after arriving prematurely at just over 3 lbs.

While Juan and Kim were able to hold their son in his first two weeks of life, as of Tuesday, the hospital is under a strict no-visitors policy — which means the new parents can only see Nico over FaceTime.

“It’s better than nothing,” said Juan of the “hard” situation, adding that the couple knows the hospital staff are “making the best of the situation. We understand where they’re coming from.”

NICU parents unable to visit baby in the hospital
Nico Flores
| Credit: Courtesy Kim Flores

Added Kim, “I trust that the hospital has the best interest of my baby and all the babies at heart.”

That doesn’t make being apart from their son any easier, though. As Kim told GMA, “On an intellectual level, we know it’s the right choice.”

“But as a mom, when you can’t be there to help feed bottles and get to know your new baby, it’s very emotional,” she admitted. “There’s been a lot of tears.”

“It’s for the babies and also for the staff,” Juan continued about the couple’s support of the hospital’s decision. “What if someone who hasn’t been practicing proper social distancing comes in and gets the doctors and nurses sick? Then who will take care of my baby?”

NICU parents unable to visit baby in the hospital
Nico Flores
| Credit: Courtesy Kim Flores

RELATED VIDEO: Grandfather Comforts His Crying Wife Through Care Facility Window amid Coronavirus Isolation

Juan advises other parents going through a similar situation or preparing to welcome their own children, “Your baby will be well taken care of. It’s hard, but it’s not forever.”

While this specific rule affects only some Northside hospitals in Georgia, as of March 23, New York-Presbyterian hospitals have banned pregnant women from having partners in the delivery room in an attempt to minimize the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, also banning all visitors for patients over the age 18.

As of Tuesday morning, there are at least 163,575 confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the U.S. — the most worldwide — with at least 3,073 people having died from coronavirus-related illness domestically, according to a New York Times database.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. To help provide doctors and nurses on the front lines with life-saving medical resources, donate to Direct Relief here.