Preparing for a Newborn During a Pandemic
Bringing a baby into this world is a joyful experience, one with many unknowns (especially for new parents). Of course, that was before 2020 and the coronavirus pandemic. Now, we know you have a lot more questions and concerns, and we want to make sure to alleviate some of those!
Here at Maternal Instincts, we’re sharing helpful ways you can prepare to bring your new baby into the world and safely into your home.
Keep your distance
The Centers for Disease Control already recommends social distancing to reduce the spread of COVID-19, but this especially rings true for pregnant people. In the weeks leading up to your delivery, be sure to maintain six feet apart from most people and limit your outings. If you choose to exercise extra caution, you can self-quarantine at home for two weeks with your partner or delivery support prior to your expected delivery date. This might be difficult if you plan to work out of the home until your due date, but try to make social distancing and mask-wearing a priority!
Prioritize your health
Taking care of your growing baby means also taking care of you. Pregnancy alone puts your body through a lot of stress, and the elevated stress of a global pandemic isn’t making it any easier! During this time, be sure to put your physical and mental health first. Maybe that means limiting your news consumption and screen time. Perhaps it means getting outside for a socially distanced walk. Whatever that looks like for you, make it a priority.
You’re likely already stocked up with baby supplies like diapers, wipes, and everything in between, but don’t forget to stock up on your sanitation essentials, too. Be sure you have plenty of things like:
- Masks (for you and for anyone who will be around you and baby)
- FDA-approved hand sanitizer
- Antibacterial wipes
- Disinfectant spray
- And anything else you can think of to keep you and your newborn safe as you venture out into the world
Communicate plans for potential visitors
A new baby brings lots of excitement, and, of course, lots of visitors. But with the coronavirus still not under control in most of the U.S., you may not feel comfortable having visitors over right away. And that’s okay! Even if they’re wearing masks and have no symptoms of the virus, it’s still entirely your choice whether you want to allow visitors. Note: hospitals often don’t even let the spouse of a pregnant person enter the maternity ward, so you may not have to worry about this until you get home.
To prevent potentially upsetting loved ones once you are home, however, consider letting everyone know what your plans are ahead of time. That way, everyone is on the same page and you won’t have to deal with repeated questions as you’re trying to settle in. As an alternative, you can plan to host a virtual party for family and friends so everyone can still see and meet your baby — just from a very far and very safe distance.
Make a plan for postpartum care
Before you have your baby, make sure you and your primary caretaker have a plan in place for postpartum checkups. Right now, the CDC is recommending that people with newborns don’t skip any appointments, but depending on where you live, you or your caretaker may feel more comfortable doing them virtually. No matter the case, be sure to come up with a plan that works best for you and the baby so you’re well-prepared for appointments in-person or over the phone.
Get enough sleep — and plan for it after baby comes
Sleep is necessary to build and maintain a strong immune system. As you near your due date, you’ll likely be more fatigued and in need of rest. That doesn’t change after the baby comes! While you can find ways to boost your sleep while you’re still pregnant, it’s also best to have a plan to get sleep after baby comes, too! That’s where Maternal Instincts comes in. A trained night nanny or doula can offer you dedicated support in your home, to ensure that you get the care (and sleep!) you need safely.
Find the right support
COVID-related information changes rapidly, so it’s important to stay informed about the current conditions where you live. Look to the CDC for the latest guidelines and recommendations, as well as your local health officials. If you are also wondering how to navigate newborn care, the Maternal Instincts team is here to help with guidance and support. We offer safe, reliable newborn care services, including night nannies, newborn care specialists, sleep training and more.