New rules deny birth partners at some NYC hospitals during COVID-19 crisis

NEW YORK CITY -- As some New York City hospitals are getting overrun with COVID-19 patients, they are now instituting strict rules that deny both parents being allowed inside the delivery room.

Olga Karmansky and her husband Allen are preparing to give birth to their first child under new COVID-19 restrictions.

Karmansky saw an Instagram post from New York-Presbyterian Hospital that said: "We have made the decision not to permit visitors, including birthing partners and support persons, for our obstetric patients."

The former competitive gymnast says that neither the changes to her body nor the extra safety precautions needed during the coronavirus pandemic had dampened her excitement. But that all changed a few days ago.

"It's been a little bit of an emotional roller coaster," said Karmansky.

For Karmansky, that means neither the doula she's been depending upon for a month nor her husband will be allowed in the delivery room.

"My partner, you know, has gone through this with me, and he's one half of this project," said Karmansky. "I can't imagine doing this without him."

Once Karmansky got over the shock, she and her husband immediately started thinking of a plan A, B, C, and D. That includes a hospital where her husband is welcome.

Ironically, Karmansky was born in 1986 in the former Soviet Union during the Chernobyl disaster.

"They had me during this big worldwide crisis. So it's like the circle of life that this baby is being born in a similar situation," said Karmansky.

Karmansky says knowing that she was born under a crisis gives her faith that, like her parents, she'll get through this too.


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