Protecting your newborn during COVID-19
Bringing home a newborn baby is a time of joy, but it can also be a time of worry as parents are concerned about keeping their baby healthy and safe. Having a baby during a pandemic adds an extra layer of concern. Kacey Eichelberger, MD, shared some tips for protecting your family and your newborn during this pandemic.
What can you do prior to your baby’s birth?
Dr. Eichelberger recommended that families expecting a baby go into a more intense period of quarantine a couple of weeks before the baby’s delivery or due date. This means that families stop going out if possible. “Some expectant working mothers are even taking off the two weeks prior to delivery to stay home and reduce their chances of coming into contact with COVID-19,” said Dr. Eichelberger.
What can you do after your baby is born?
After you deliver your baby, Dr. Eichelberger recommends a period of nesting, where you do not take your newborn out in public and stay home as much as possible. “This has always been recommended because of germs and other viruses, but it is even more important now because of COVID-19. It is important to keep your newborn’s exposure as limited as possible. We also recommend you keep visitors as limited as possible. Even allowing loving grandparents or aunts and uncles into your nested environment could unintentionally introduce the virus to your family and your newborn. At this time, we recommend you do things that may feel more extreme than normal in terms of safety precautions,” said Dr. Eichelberger.
Should expectant mothers get the COVID-19 vaccine?
It is recommended that pregnant women have full access to the COVID-19 vaccine. “We believe the vaccine will help protect you and your family during this pandemic. However, it is important that you make a choice that is comfortable for you and your family,” said Dr. Eichelberger.
Should nursing mothers get the COVID-19 vaccine?
The American Board of Breastfeeding Medicine recommends that women who are breastfeeding or lactating be allowed to receive the COVID-19 vaccine while continuing to breastfeed. “There is no need to pump and dump and there is no biologic plausibility that getting the vaccine would endanger a nursing child in any way,” said Dr. Eichelberger.
“We are all definitely looking forward to the day where these extreme precautions are not necessary when we welcome a new baby into the world,” said Dr. Eichelberger.
Have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine?
Find answers to frequently asked questions about the COVID-19 vaccine, including how to get the shot.