We know the health and safety of your newborn baby is your highest priority, but we also understand there should be a healthy balance between taking appropriate precautions and unnecessarily keeping your newborn away from loved ones. Infectious disease physician, Mia Taormina, MD, and pediatrician, Don Seidman, MD, share tips as you navigate bringing your newborn baby home during a pandemic.
Although there are risks associated with group gatherings, babies and children becoming sick with COVID-19 has been rare to-date. The risk of family exposure is significantly less than the seasonal flu. In addition to COVID-19-specific measures, we also recommend general safety guidelines to help keep your baby safe, including:
- Restrict visits outside of immediate family and grandparents. Limit visitors to immediate family and grandparents for the first two weeks. This guideline is significant for babies born prematurely, infants who have a low birth weight or express other concerns.
- Limit who can and cannot hold your baby. A good rule of thumb is the most important members of your immediate family can hold your baby for any period of time.
- Require handwashing. Since newborns do not have established immune systems, it is always important for individuals to wash their hands prior to touching your baby.
- Keep mouths and noses covered. Masks play a vital role in preventing the spread of the virus. Ensure that all visitors wear a mask or face covering while spending time with your family.
- Keep interactions small and maintain social distancing. Limit the number of family members and ask that those who do not live in the same household to stand six feet from one another.
- Move socialization outdoors. If you have access to an outdoor space such as a porch or yard, hold the meet-and-greet outside; the risk of exposure is lower in outdoor spaces.
In addition to safeguarding your baby, taking appropriate precautions can play a critical role in protecting higher risk loved ones who come to visit. Creating a plan and sharing key strategies with your immediate family can go a long way in soothing your fears.
Talk with your pediatrician about your concerns and ask any questions you may have. If you would like to learn more about COVID-19 prevention tips, DuPage Medical Group clinical safety and more, please visit our community health update page or call 1−888−693−6437 for additional information.