As of the publication of this blog, many places, including the state of Colorado, are under stay at home orders to slow the spread of COVID-19. Each day brings new information and new recommendations (today, for example, the Governor asked all Colorado citizens to wear fabric masks when they are out in public). All of this, understandably, brings about some anxiety for a lot of people, and the thought of leaving the house with a new baby can be daunting.
One of the great things about having a home birth is that, typically, you won’t need to leave the house for a week or more, because your midwives will usually see you at home for the first ten days or so. This is true in our practice. But, at around that ten day mark, it will be time to come in to the office so that we can perform your baby’s hearing screening, as well as collect the second newborn screen. It will also likely be time to see your pediatrician sometime after the first week.
Under the best of circumstances, we council you on ways to help your baby avoid coming in contact with germs when you venture out in public, and now, in the age of coronavirus, this is even more critical. Here are a few ideas to keep you and your baby safe on short, essential visits to the outside world:
Breastfeed Your baby
Remember, breastfeeding is the first most important way to protect your baby, as you are passing along tailor-made new antibodies to your baby at every feeding.
Carry Baby in a Wrap
This is the first thing we usually recommend for outings, because keeping your baby close to your body discourages people from getting too close. If you are coming to see us, we would recommend tucking baby’s face close to you and draping a scarf or part of the wrap over baby when you are moving through the building and using the elevator, for added protection.
Cover the Carrier
If you are going to carry the baby in their carseat, use a carseat cover or cover baby with a blanket to protect them as you move through the building.
wear a mask
Based on the information that is available today, we believe it is a good idea for everyone to wear a mask when they are out in public. Make sure you wear yours as you move through the building and elevator.
When you are going into a public building, it is a good measure to wear a glove on the hand that will be touching door handles and elevator buttons. We provide a trash can for you to discard it upon entering our office, and then you would don a new one when you leave.
When you return to your vehicle, make sure to use hand sanitizer and wipe down anything that may have come in contact with your hands after you touched a public surface with a sanitizing wipe.
For our part, we work hard to protect you and ourselves by sanitizing our office between each visit, as well as limiting the number of in-person visits. And we will wear masks and gloves any time we are in close contact with you or your baby. After this visit, we will work with you to create a plan for the remaining weeks that you and your baby are under our care which may include virtual visits as they are appropriate, to help limit your trips outside of your home.