COVID-19: A Challenge for New Parents

Having a new baby is exciting and wonderful, but during this time of coronavirus it can be nerve racking to have a new baby at home. How will you keep your precious baby safe? How can family and friends meet the new baby safely? These are just a few of the many new questions that new parents are facing.

Healthy Moms and Newborns

Before mothers give birth they are tested for COVID. If a mom does not have coronavirus she often has to wear a mask just as a precaution. It is important to take other precautions to ensure that your new baby is not exposed to coronavirus. Often family members and friends are eager to meet the new baby, but social distancing is probably best for limiting infection. People who do not live with the newborn should not meet the new baby until the coronavirus pandemic ends. New technologies allow virtual and video meetings, such as FaceTime, Zoom, and Skype.

Caregivers and Siblings

Caregivers and siblings should wash their hands often and be vigilant about keeping all areas clean and sanitized. If someone in the home develops COVID-19 symptoms, that person should remain isolated from the baby and the rest of the family. Try to avoid taking the baby out and exposing him to the public. Instead use grocery delivery services and shop online for necessary supplies.

Mothers with COVID-19

Temporary Separation

Typically the best place for a newborn is in the mother’s room, but if the mother tested positive for COVID-19 this may not be the case. The healthcare team can help the mother decide whether or not she should be temporarily separated from her baby at the hospital and at home. Temporary separation may protect the baby from catching the virus through respiratory droplets in the air. Premature babies and newborns with other health concerns may need to be separated to ensure their safety. If a separated mother wishes to eventually breastfeed, it is crucial that she pumps every 2-3 hours during the first few days to ensure her breasts will continue to produce milk. Lactation consultants can provide more specific recommendations on a case by case basis.

Socially Distant Room Sharing

If a mother opts out of temporary separation from her baby, several precautions should be taken. The mother should wash her hands often, and always before touching her baby and wear a mask. The newborn should be kept at least 6 feet away from the infected mother and should be covered by a physical barrier, such as an incubator, whenever possible.

Precautions at Home

If the mother is still infected with coronavirus upon leaving the hospital, she should stay in a different room than the baby if there is another healthy caregiver available. If an alternate caregiver is not available, the mom should continue to wash her hands often and wear a mask.

Breastfeeding with COVID-19

There has been limited research in this area since coronavirus is relatively new. The coronavirus has not been detected in breast milk and does not seem to be transmitted through nursing. However, since a mom and baby will be in close contact during nursing, it is essential to take precautions. Coronavirus is spread primarily through respiratory droplets so mothers with COVID-19 should wear a mask while breastfeeding and wash their hands thoroughly before nursing.

Pumping with COVID-19

Another option is if the mom chooses to pump her breast milk and have a healthy individual feed the baby the bottle of pumped milk. While pumping, she should take additional safeguards, such as washing her hands beforehand, wearing a mask, and using her own pump. Breast milk is a wonderful source of nutrition for infants and provides immunity from many illnesses. Therefore, whenever possible, some breast milk should be fed to the infant even if the mother has COVID-19.

Newborns with COVID-19

Newborns may become infected with coronavirus if they have been in close contact with an infected individual. It’s often unclear when the baby got the virus, whether it was before birth from an infected mother, during the delivery, or after birth. Often infants with coronavirus only display mild symptoms and recover, but some cases have been more severe. If your baby is healthy, it is crucial to take all necessary precautions to prevent your baby from being infected with COVID-19. Infants have immature immune systems and are at a greater risk of getting sick.

Newborn Precautions and COVID-19

This era of coronavirus has presented many additional challenges for new parents to navigate. The CDC provides guidelines to socially distance from people who do not live in your household, to wear a mask in public, and to wash your hands often. As a new parent, you must also protect your newborn who does not even have a fully developed immune system until 2 or 3 months. Therefore, it is crucial to take additional precautions, such as staying home, and meeting relatives and friends virtually, rather than in person.

Helpful Links

Boston Baby Nurse & Nanny Can Help!

Night wakings can be exhausting for parents and lack of sleep can leave parents feeling scattered and foggy. An overnight newborn care expert provides care so sleep deprived parents can get a good night of sleep. Your baby needs sleep and so do you.

Daytime Newborn Care

Your Newborn Care Expert will care for your infant and create a stimulating environment that will help foster your baby’s development.

In-Home Consultant Visits

Our trained professionals can teach you how to best care for your baby. Many parents have questions about how to bathe their babies, how to swaddle, or a host of other questions. We also offer a variety of breastfeeding support and lactation services designed to help support and maximize your breastfeeding experience.

Baby Sleep Coaching

One in four children under the age of five has a sleep issue. Most children’s sleep issues are behavioral and not medical. If your child is struggling with sleep issues, you are not alone!

Nanny Placements

The care of your children is our highest priority. Connecting families with warm, responsible, and trustworthy caregivers is what we do best. Our team will meet with your family, identify qualified caregivers, and hand-select the best candidates for you to meet with.