Having a baby is a happy, but stressful experience. . Add in a global pandemic and you’re really upping those stress levels. COVID-19 has drastically changed the way that healthcare is currently functioning. Most hospitals are only allowing one visitor while you’re giving birth, and some may even send you home sooner than in a pre-COVID world. What kind of precautions should a new mom take for her postpartum care during a pandemic? Below, experts share 5 tips on managing your afterbirth healing journey

Limit Exposure

As soon as your baby is born your momma bear instincts will kick in. You’re going to want to protect your child from every harm imaginable. Unfortunately, COVID is a microscopic virus that you can’t exactly stop from harming your baby- but you can take preventative measures.

Luckily, according to the CDC, children do not appear to be at higher risk for COVID-19 than adults. While there have been cases in infants, they are much less common than adult cases. Newborns with COVID have only had mild symptoms.

Limit who can see your baby. Obviously follow all your state regulations about social gatherings, but also try to restrict friends and family who come see your baby. It’s completely up to you, but some moms feel safe letting people see their newborn only after their visitors have tested negative, received both vaccinations, or wear a mask. One thing you don’t want to do is put a mask on your baby as it may cause suffocation.

Try Virtual Visits

By now, grandma and grandpa are probably well-versed in Zoom or Facetime. I know that you want to show off your beautiful new addition to your family and friends, but right now the safest option is via pictures and video.

Keep Clean

Wash your hands constantly. This is always a good rule of thumb for newborns as they’re just building their immune system, but it’s especially important during today’s time. Have hand sanitizer on deck throughout the house and wash your hands whenever you do something like unload groceries, come back from a walk, or anywhere outside the house.

Wipe down high-touch areas where the virus could live like countertops, doorknobs, and light switches. 

Breast Feeding

Researchers are still learning if COVID-19 can pass through breast milk and cause infection in the baby. Most information shows that it is safe to feed breast milk to your baby even if you have COVID-19. Remember that breast milk is the best source of nutrition for most babies. Breast milk also helps protect babies from infections, including infections of the ears, lungs, and digestive system. For these reasons, having COVID-19 should not stop you from giving your baby breast milk.

Seek Outside Help

If you feel overwhelmed with anxiety or fear over how to protect your baby from COVID, it may be helpful for you to visit a therapist. During the pandemic, women with children are more likely to report symptoms of anxiety and/or depressive disorder compared to men. Talking to a therapist can ensure the stability of your mental health for you and your family.

If you’re experiencing any symptoms related to COVID-19, immediately quarantine, plan to take a test, and call your doctor for next steps.

The CDC is a great, reliable place to find COVID related information and they even have a page dedicated to facts about pregnancy. breastfeeding, and newborn care.

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