The COVID-19 pandemic is definitely not how parents pictured bringing a child into the world. But now that the little one is here, all you can do is keep them safe and healthy by following proper newborn care. It’s natural to have many questions given that these are unprecedented times for new parents too. To help you out, here are some of the most commonly asked questions about newborn care:
Q: Can I still set up postnatal appointments?
A: Postnatal checks are for doctors to make sure that both mother and baby are healthy. These usually happen between six to eight weeks after the baby’s birth. And while it’s ideal to visit the doctor’s office, you should consider scheduling virtual appointments instead. Your healthcare provider should be able to provide you with tools to monitor critical information, such as your blood pressure and weight, as well as instructions to use them. Video calls are best so that your doctor will be able to see you and your baby. Virtual healthcare offers a safer and more convenient option for your postpartum needs, as well as your child’s.
Q: Should I delay routine vaccinations?
A: That said, there are other medical needs that require a physical visit such as vaccinations. A lot of parents are asking if they should delay well-child visits to minimize their exposure to coronavirus. To answer that question, pediatric infectious disease specialist Dr. Amy Edwards says it is age dependent. And for children under the age of one, vaccine appointments should not be postponed. Newborns have weak immune systems and can catch different infectious diseases even if they remain safe at home.
When visiting the pediatrician, observe the safety guidelines to lower your chances of catching the virus. Follow the World Health Organization’s infographic on proper handwashing as well as other precautions like social distancing and wearing masks.
Q: Does breastfeeding transmit the virus?
A: There is currently no evidence suggesting that breastfeeding transmits the virus from the mother to the baby. Experts say that it is completely safe to continue breastfeeding your newborn. Not only does breast milk contain most of their nutritional needs, it might even provide babies with antibodies that help protect them against the virus.
You can also still use a breast pump and provide your little one with essential nutrients and antibodies. If you’re having trouble choosing the right pump, Medela’s two most popular models, Freestyle and Sonata, are great options. The first one is a double electric pump designed for portable use, while the second is a hospital-grade design that is best for home use.
Q: Is it safe to take my newborn outside?
A: It’s good for moms and newborns to go on walks as long as they’re healthy. In fact, the fresh air and sunshine will do both of you good. Of course, there is the question of safety during a pandemic. Adults should still practice safety measures with an emphasis on social distancing. Newborns cannot wear masks and their immune system is still developing, so it’s best to stay away from crowded spaces.
The baby’s comfort is another consideration as they are still very sensitive. The variety of strollers on iCandy show how design and durability are extremely important when choosing the right model for your baby. The ideal stroller should be lightweight yet built with integrity and easy to move around. It should also be able to handle different kinds of terrains, like pavements and grassy fields, so you can easily avoid busy areas. Additionally, you can add accessories like umbrellas that block the sun and minimize your child’s exposure to other people.
Q: Can I entertain visitors?
A: It is generally unsafe to allow visitors around your newborn baby. Older people are at an increased risk for COVID-19 so grandparents might have to wait a while before they can play with the baby. However, if they are willing to self-isolate for two weeks, then it is possible for grandparents and other visitors to see the baby.
These are incredibly strange times for everyone, especially for parents of newborn babies. There are, understandably, many adjustments to be made when it comes to caring for your child. But following them should not be a question as your baby’s health should be your number one priority.