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Have you been/are you letting family and friends meet your newborn?

25 replies

BabyCJuly · 04/08/2020 21:06

Hello all out of interest was wondering what everyone is doing with regard to the above?

Are you letting family and friends meet/hold newborn with a mask and sanitiser?

Thanks so much xxx

OP posts:
carlablack · 05/08/2020 07:12

I'm due in november and only me and DH will be allowed to hold the baby. Everyone visiting us will have to wear masks and can only see the baby from a distance.

Me and DH will also wear masks around the baby. It's going to be tough but I'll do everything to save her from infection Sad

lockdownpregnancy · 05/08/2020 08:03

I'm due September and if social distancing is still in place then it will be just me and DH that gets to hold baby. I've told my family and they aren't impressed (especially my mom!) but it is what it is, even though it's totally crap!
They can come and visit, one person/ household at a time, but a mask is to be worn and hands washed when coming in to our house.

TheAquaticDuchess · 05/08/2020 08:27

Me and DH will also wear masks around the baby. It's going to be tough but I'll do everything to save her from infection

I would think very carefully about whether you actually want to do this.

The risk of your baby catching Covid from you is very low, and babies tend to be only very mildly affected if they do contract it. Furthermore, since you will all be living in the same house there is no way a mask would work to prevent infection if either of you did get Covid. Masks prevent the spread of droplets when sneezing / coughing / talking; they won’t work to prevent you from spreading infection by touching your baby, touching things in your home, breathing in the same room all night, etc. If you have Covid and share a home with your baby, a mask is not going to be the thing that prevents the spread of infection.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that wearing a mask could actually have a serious negative effect on your baby. Babies start recognising and differentiating between faces from birth, and start differentiating between facial expressions within days ( Learning how to differentiate facial expressions in this way is a vital skill that helps them learn new things - they follow their parents’ facial cues when learning to walk for example, or when meeting new people. If you’re wearing a mask which covered the majority of your facial expressions, you will be hugely impeding your baby’s ability to learn about and differentiate facial expressions, and that could have a long lasting impact.

I would personally consider that a much more significant risk than the very low possibility of them contracting Covid and or having anything other than a mild illness as a result, especially since a mask isn’t going to stop infection in your home anyway.

OP - I’m going to let friends and family whom I trust hold my baby. I know that my parents, PIL, and best friend have been meticulous about wearing masks and social distancing. I’ll ask visitors to wash their hands, and I won’t let people I don’t know or don’t trust to have socially distanced hold the baby, but other than that I feel comfortable about it. I live in an area where infections are very minimal, which helps. My baby is also not due til December, so I will obviously evaluate what the situation is like at the time.

carlablack · 05/08/2020 10:14

@TheAquaticDuchess I'll only wear a mask for 14 days postpartum though.

LexiM · 05/08/2020 10:33

Our baby is due mid October, we are not making any final decisions yet as going to wait and see but likely to just be us and my Mum holding the baby. I think its important to balance out risk and mental health. We certainly wont just let friends hold the baby because they want to without much benefit to it as for us the risks are more.

@carlablack out of interest what is the benefit of wearing the mask when the baby has been where you have once born? I see you could have it previously but the baby will touch you when born. Obviously it's your own choice but I cant see how practical that would be either as you couldn't sleep near it, eat or drink etc.

carlablack · 05/08/2020 10:53

@LexiM I won't have the virus before birth as I'll have been in quarantine. But during birth, lots of health professionals will handle me and I probably won't be able to protect myself from people during labor and might catch the virus somehow. I don't want to spread my droplets onto her as I talk or breathe.

I know that she will also be handled by nurses and doctors, but I assume (and hope) they're a bit more sensitive handling a newborn baby than an adult like me.

1990shopefulftm · 05/08/2020 11:10

Due at the end of October, and if we have anyone meet him as a newborn (not certain we will yet as our area is probably going to end up in local lockdown) , it will just be our parents and siblings with some distance in place.

I'm also asthmatic and even if I got it mildly I'm going to be no use to baby if I get ill, so I've been very strictly social distancing since lockdown started and plan to until his due date (last time I got a bad viral chest infection I broke a rib and that was something they had someway of treating, there's not much pregnancy safe options for covid so it's really not worth the risk ) so I know I can cope till he's a bit older without seeing anyone if needs be.

1990shopefulftm · 05/08/2020 11:15

@LexiM they offer covid tests during labour in many hospitals now so you're able to find out if you currently have it.

RowboatsinDisguise · 05/08/2020 11:25


I'm due in november and only me and DH will be allowed to hold the baby. Everyone visiting us will have to wear masks and can only see the baby from a distance.

Me and DH will also wear masks around the baby. It's going to be tough but I'll do everything to save her from infection Sad

@TheAquaticDuchess has covered this well. Even if it’s only for 14 days, you are still delaying the bonding process with your baby and I would argue that this will also significantly impact your mental health. You are much better off just making the decision to breastfeed your baby/give her breastmilk via bottle than wearing a mask all the time.

DD due end of Oct/start of Nov. Grandparents will be allowed to meet her regardless of the situation. We’ll need help with our toddler anyway.
LexiM · 05/08/2020 12:11

@1990shopefulftm yes my hospital does although I understand results are not immediate so you could have baby before the result is back.

DeepTreacle · 05/08/2020 12:22

I had a baby around the time of the peak In the Spring. We had to self isolate for two weeks afterwards. My mother came to stay and helped after three weeks (she had self isolated). Since then, a number of family and friends have held her and it has been nothing but a positive thing. Following the birth we and the baby were more of a risk to others than they were to the baby as we had been in a healthcare setting. It is a very worrying time, but depending on your circumstances there may be far greater risks to a new family than coronavirus and it is worth keeping that in perspective.

carlablack · 05/08/2020 12:22

Some babies have to spend first few months of their lives away from their parents due to health conditions. This situation is also a health concern and I'm doind what I think is best to protect my baby. We can bond later on.

This decision is not open for discussion. Everyone has the right to choose for themselves and their babies. I just answered OP's question.

vinoelle · 05/08/2020 12:25

I obviously respect its everyone’s own decision but I really don’t think getting overly anxious about this is helpful. The post partum period is hard enough without the added stress of obsessing over this, or cutting off your support network.

I’m a doctor, GP, and have been working thru this whole time, altho not face to face recently. I feel I have good understanding, evidence and knowledge of this disease. I Will be allowing in laws to visit/stay and cuddle newborn and socially distance as appropriate with friends, if that’s any consolation to anyone.

DeepTreacle · 05/08/2020 12:26

You crack on, but coronavirus is not the most significant risk to your newborn baby, and it’s worth remembering that

alphabetti · 05/08/2020 12:32

I’m not due until beginning of Dec but I can’t see the virus being gone by then. I have 2 teenagers and a step child that doesn’t live with us plus partner works in a special needs school (kids often spit, bite etc) so although I’m working from home and trying to be sensible it’s difficult to socially distance.

I won’t stop any family member from holding baby though and will take her to visit my 87yr grandma and partners nanna and grandad who don’t leave their houses. I just feel they might never get chance to meet her if we keep a distance. My mum is excited to have another granddaughter and is willing to have her on her day off even I return to work so don’t think it’s fair to limit her contact and then expect her to be the childcare when suits us. I think each to their own but I would t want to be wearing a mask round my baby I want her to see us and get to know us but will definitely be adhering to extra hygiene/hand washing etc

FreyaFirstTimeMum · 05/08/2020 12:45

My and DH family will be able to hold baby. I’m due end of Sept. Babies are very low risk of transmission and if they do get they have very low likelihood of developing symptoms.

My baby deserves a normal start to life!

StayClosePooky · 05/08/2020 12:46

My DD is 7 weeks old and we've only allowed grandparents to hold her. But this is on the strict understanding that we're all still not going out, deliveries for shopping etc. I think if you have an understanding of what you're all doing to keep safe then it's not an issue for us. It's really upsetting that my best friend hasn't held her yet but we're doing what we need to to be safe. That said my friend comes and sits with us in the garden and has got to meet her that way.

FreyaFirstTimeMum · 05/08/2020 12:49

Are you sleeping in same room? Are you planning to wear mask when you sleep? Because otherwise what’s the point?

You will do what you want to do in the end but I would be very surprised if midwives and HV agree with this! Bonding isn’t a “nice to have” or a “we can do it later”, it’s a vital part of growth and development.

TheAquaticDuchess · 05/08/2020 13:23

@carlablack of course you can make whatever decision you like. But unless you’re planning on not holding your baby, not touching anything the baby touches, and sleeping in different rooms (NOT advised because of SIDS), wearing a mask isn’t going to do anything to stop the spread of Covid if you have it. It just seems a shame to me to miss out on a vital bonding stage for no benefit. It’s not the same as newborn babies who have to spend time away from their parents for medical reasons - that’s when it’s a medical necessity, no parent would choose it.

LexiM · 05/08/2020 14:12

@TheAquaticDuchess interestingly on the Lockdown Babies programme recently the mother had Covid and the medical professionals still felt the baby should remain with the mum and she didn't have a mask on, so clearly where possible they do try to keep baby with mother. Similarly even very tiny babies where possible in NICU are held by parents so its rare there is no contact.

Each to their own, I appreciate your baby, your decision.

Zhampagne · 05/08/2020 14:29

Very sensible, wise words from @TheAquaticDuchess. It is completely unnecessary for the parents to be masked around the baby. Baby needs to start to develop their own immune system. Skin to skin contact is really important to colonise the baby's skin with healthy skin flora. If you can breastfeed then this will help to colonise gut bacteria; if not you might want to consider a probiotic.

Footlooseandfancy · 05/08/2020 14:53

I've got a toddler, I imagine I'll be on the playground or at soft play (if they reopen!) till the day I give birth anyway - I've probably got more chance of catching a stomach bug than covid if the past 3 years of parenthood has taught me anything about children. We'll continue to be a bit more stringent with hand washing than we were with DD1 but family and friends will still be able to hold baby unless something drastic changes in the meantime.

I've felt every precaution is taken at all my medical appointments and we're being generally sensible in day to day life but the risk is small anyway. Being able to get out and about and being with friends and family really helped me postnatally (mentally and physically) last time and I'm planning on doing the same again.

WhatWouldPennyDo · 05/08/2020 14:55

Baby due mid Oct. Haven’t thought that far ahead as things are so changeable. I’m sure our parents will be respectful of our choices, whatever they will be.

Interestingly, my midwife has said that she is seeing a positive effect on feeding and sleep of both new mums and babies from there being fewer familial visits. She puts this down to ‘enforced’ (in the nicest sense) bonding between mum and baby, without in being disrupted by other people constantly looking for cuddles with the new arrival. Sounds good to me Smile

rooarsome · 05/08/2020 15:09

I'm going to give him as normal a start in life as I can do under the circumstances. My other 2 will be in school, husband at work etc so we won't be in a self contained little bubble anyway.
I'm sorry but wearing a mask constantly around a newborn is ludicrous and potentially incredibly damaging.

lockdownpregnancy · 05/08/2020 15:40

@carlablack at the end of the day, it's your baby, your life and you do what you like.
However, I've got to say that there is categorically no way you are not going to have your beautiful baby popped on your chest after you haven given birth and you won't give him/her a kiss and cuddle.
Plus there is no way you will have a mask on during labour, so you will ask the MW's to wait to give you your baby whilst you just pop your mask on and then get up and wash your hands????
I'm not judging, I'm just saying..... 🤔🤔🤔

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