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A Newborn Amidst A Pandemic: What Your Visitors Should and Should Not be Doing

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Bringing your new little bundle home used to be a flood of visitors and frozen casseroles. In 2020, parents now need to consider what’s safe and smart when allowing extended family to visit during the pandemic.

Safety Practices to Follow

The first six weeks are the most vulnerable to newborns. Any fever means a trip to emergency and can be extremely stressful for new parents.

While government rules may be more relaxed, we still need to be smart about where friends and family may have been, if they work in aged care or schools (where a lot of people pass though). As the medical experts have told us, you can be asymtpmatic and still spread the virus. And while the virus appears to be more contagious with our elderly and vulnerable communities, there have been cases where children and babies have contracted the virus.

If you do decide to have visitors, everyone in the house or outdoor space should wear a mask, and wash their hands rather than wear gloves, as gloves tend to get cross-contaminated

Weighing up the risks

As parents, you decide what is in the best interest of your baby and family. Factors that you may want to consider, when determining if visitors pose a greater risk than to some other families is whether you or your new baby are in a high risk category. This might include low birth weight, neurological disorders, or respiratory difficulties for the baby, or being immunocompromised for the parent. If you or your baby are high risk, then a virtual introduction is something that you may want to consider.

If there’s anything that 2020 taught us, it’s video calls!

So whether you decide and in-person visit is acceptable or virtual, it’s important that you still have your support network available. Having a baby is wonderful, but it’s also incredibly stressful, regardless of how prepared or healthy you are.

Is your newborn sick?

While we know that the elderly and vulnerable are more suseptable to COVID-19 and it’s less common for babies to contract the virus, there have been some cases of children and newborns with COVID-19. Symptoms to watch out for include shortness of breath, runny nose, fever, extreme fatigue, vomiting, diarrhea,loss of taste or smell.

If you have any concerns, call your doctor or the COVID-hotline. Any symptoms that worry you, whether they’re COVID-related or not, you should contact a doctor or nurses on call. Children under three months have a higher risk for sepsis due to their weak immune systems.

Fatma Mahmoud
Fatma Mahmoud

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