Welcoming Baby During COVID-19
May 19, 2020
The family has been waiting nine months to welcome baby home, and in just a few weeks that joy might be tempered for some by concern due to COVID-19.
The news from all avenues is changing every day. For expecting parents, it’s important to focus on what is known and what you can do to prevent it—for you and baby.
Traffic jam, snow storm or COVID-19—no matter what’s going on in the world, babies will still be born. It is important for you to stay in touch with your doctor and hospital where you will be delivering as you get closer and closer to your due date. Overlake is following the most up-to-date guidelines from the CDC to care for both you and your baby.
Overlake is committed to the health and safety of our patients, visitors and staff. As a result of COVID-19 in our community, we are taking extra precautions to keep our campus as safe as possible and ensure our ability to care for our patients.
Our Childbirth Center continues to stay open 24/7. The hospital maintains thorough infection control procedures, and we will do everything we can to ensure the health and safety of our patients, visitors and staff. We have protocols in place to keep all patients, visitors and healthcare workers safe.
All routine visiting will be suspended at our hospital campus until further notice. We recognize there are times when having a visitor or family member present is crucial, such as when delivering at Overlake. So one visitor is allowed with you at the Childbirth Center. A visitor will only be allowed if they pass the screening process. See our visitor policy for exceptions.
After baby is born, your delivery hospital will be monitoring you both, as they normally would. To date, the CDC says mother-to-child transmission during pregnancy is unlikely, but after birth a newborn can be infected after exposure to an infected person. That could potentially be by the baby’s mom or other caregivers. Based on limited published reports, the CDC reports that a very small number of babies have tested positive for the virus shortly after birth. However, it is unknown if these babies got the virus before, during or after birth.
Breast milk provides protection against many illnesses, and is a great source of nutrition for most infants. Whether you breastfeed or not should be up to you and the family care team.
It’s not clear if the virus can be spread through breast milk. Limited data shows that it likely does not. Rather, to date it is believed the virus spreads through coughs and sneezes. If a nursing mother is sick, there may be more concern that the virus could be passed during feeding.
Extra steps might include:
- Washing your hands well before holding the baby.
- If pumping, wash your hands before you pump. Be sure to clean all parts well.
- If bottle feeding with breast milk or formula, a well person should feed the infant.
Whoever feeds the infant should keep on washing their hands well.
Bringing baby home
You’ve been preparing your home for months now. Some new décor, a little nesting and, of course, the adorable baby clothes. Don’t second guess your preparations. Continue to rely on trusted prevention tips. The main ones are hand washing and avoiding contact with sick people.
For a bit of extra at-home prevention for everyone in the house, the CDC recommends cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces. You can clean surfaces using soap and hot water.
To disinfect surfaces, be aware that most cleaners have ingredients that might be harmful to you and baby. Turn to your partner or someone else in the home to lead those disinfecting efforts if using cleaners with alcohol, ammonia, chlorine or glycol. Or, use your all-natural cleaners (after checking the ingredient lists just in case).
Overlake is also offering virtual classes and support groups to prepare for birth and help you connect with other moms after you’ve had your baby, including Preparing for Birth and the After Baby Comes support group.
Hear our Childbirth Center leaders discuss the safety measures we've taken at the hospital, our modified visitor policy and more in the video below.