Having a newborn baby is a time that is full of excitement and new challenges. From the warm feelings of bonding with your little one to the challenges of getting enough sleep and establishing feeding routines, having a new baby is always a time of adjustment and change.
While having a newborn baby always presents challenges, COVID-19 had introduced even more variables into the mix.
Hospital to Home
Often, a new baby's arrival includes many visits from friends and family followed by the transition from hospital to home. However, with many hospitals using extra precautions and limiting visitors, you can expect things to be a little different. Many hospitals are allowing only one person to stay in the labor and delivery unit with the mother, whether that's a spouse, partner, or birth attendant such as a doula.
Also, during COVID-19, many hospitals are limiting the number of medical personnel who enter the room with the mother and baby, so you may receive fewer visits from nurses.
As you transition from the hospital to home, you will likely find that normal household duties become more challenging as you attempt to balance home and baby. In the past, friends and family may have pitched in to help out, bringing meals and assisting with household chores. However, with many people choosing to maintain social distancing and limit their exposure to others, this may not be an immediate option.
Help & Support
For those who offer to help, but still desire to limit their exposure, you might request gift cards to restaurants you enjoy that offer delivery services. This makes for a quick and easy meal option when you just don't have the energy to prepare something.
Another thing you might request if someone wants to help is money towards a house-cleaning service. Many cleaning companies are offering enhanced cleaning options, and their staff are extra careful and respectful during this time. Professional cleaners will also use personal protective gear such as gloves and masks and maintain a safe distance. If you feel uncomfortable with the cleaning procedure at any time, do not hesitate to request additional precautions. Keeping yourself and your baby healthy are your top priorities. However, waking up after a long night with the baby can be so much easier if you can enjoy a freshly cleaned house.
Many parents begin to feel isolated after the arrival of a new baby. Sometimes, the exhaustion that often sets in early on can make the challenges of caring for your infant even more difficult.
COVID-19 has brought even more isolation into our lives, and new parents may begin to feel that no one is willing to help. Remember that there are almost always people in your life who will be willing to take the precautions necessary to carefully and safely help you and the baby. Don't be afraid to ask others for help, whether that's asking someone to watch the baby while you take a walk, or letting someone take the baby for a soothing ride in the car or stroller while you settle in for an uninterrupted nap. Your mental and physical health are important parts of caring for your baby.
Share Your Joy!
The excitement of a new baby is naturally something that you want to share with others, but with travel restrictions and social distancing, you may not be able to visit face to face. Times like this make keeping in touch all the more important! Services like FaceTime and Zoom make it easy to maintain contact with those that you love, introducing your baby to them for the first time.
When you have a new baby, you naturally want to share that with your loved ones. However, it can be overwhelming trying to arrange to have announcements printed and mailed. An easy way to share your exciting news with your friends and family is through a virtual birth announcement. Platforms like Smilebox make it easy to find a cute birth announcement card and customize it with text and photos that you choose. Then you simply email it to friends and family! Everything can be prepared from your laptop, tablet, or phone. It's a completely contact-free way to let them know that your little one has arrived!
Whatever challenges you're facing with a new baby during COVID-19, remember to take time to bond with your baby. Skin to skin contact, cuddling, talking or singing to your infant, and making eye contact are all wonderful ways to help your baby develop a strong connection to you. It's healthy for them and you!
Though you encounter many new experiences with your baby during this time of COVID, remember that there are people who care for you and the baby and who want to help you in whatever way they can. Don't be afraid to ask for help as you need it, and be sure to set aside some time for self-care. It's as important for your little one as it is for you.
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