Couple Can't Visit Newborn Baby in NICU amid Coronavirus Concerns: 'There's Been a Lot of Tears'
"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
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.”
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?”
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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.
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