What to expect when you are expecting during the COVID-19 pandemic

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Little Linus Kenney is just over a week old, but he is already somewhat of a star of the small screen. In fact, it’s been the way he has met most of his extended family.

"It’s been really frustrating for my mom," Chris Kenney, Linus’ dad, said. "She just really wants to hold him."

Parents Chris and Heather Kenney say safety restrictions during pregnancy and delivery meant they had to be flexible. Chris was not allowed at Heather’s final check-up, and their other children were not allowed to come to the hospital to meet Linus when he was born.

"It was hard, saying ‘You’re going to have to wait,’" Heather Kenney said.

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It’s all part of ever-changing safety precautions for patients who are expecting and delivering during the COVID-19 pandemic. For instance, Allina Health facilities are no longer allowing hospital tours for prospective parents, birthing classes are now done online, they are doing video check-ups for low-risk patients up to the 36th week of pregnancy and there is only one visitor allowed per patient during each hospital stay.

"We are trying to keep people out of the hospitals who don’t need to be there, but I also think it’s important women know they are not alone during any of this," said Tina Welke, with Allina Health.

In Linus’s case, his brothers and sisters camped out below his hospital room and got their first glimpse of him when his parents held him up to the window. An untraditional meeting, but a memorable one.

"It was different, but they showed up and went the extra mile," Chris Kenney said. "It really counted."