In a time of unknowns, we answer some of your most pressing questions on COVID-19 life with a newborn…
Your child might not be old enough for you to have to worry about home schooling or too much screen time but life with a newborn now, especially if your partner is a key-worker, has its own questions. Will you still have access to the same support? Are your appointments happening now? What about when it comes to feeding?
Here, we try to answer your concerns. And reassure you as much as possible.
What if my baby is unwell during the coronavirus pandemic?
If your baby’s not well while the coronavirus keeps us indoors, you can still call your GP for advice. Your baby's general health is still really important. Your GP wants to hear from you so do get in touch if you're worried about anything.
If it’s something you think your health visitor could help with, you can check in with them too (see below).
Will my health visitor still come to see me?
You will still have support from your health visiting team during the COVID-19 pandemic but it might not be in person. For instance, you might have time with your health visitor using video, texts or phone calls (IHV, 2020).
All health visitors are following NHS and Public Health England COVID-19 guidance so any face-to face contact will depend on your family’s health needs (IHV, 2020).
Your health visitor will also let you know how to contact them. As you can imagine though, due to current pressures on the health service, there might be a delay in responding to routine enquiries (IHV, 2020).
But please do remember that you can – and should - contact your health visitor if you are concerned or worried about yourself or your child’s health and wellbeing. They’re there to help you find the support you need.
What if my baby is due for their injections?
As the coronavirus outbreak has happened so fast, some guidance is still being reviewed. For now, your baby's immunisation schedule should still run as normal, as the programme is important for the health of your baby (NHS, 2020).
To find out latest guidance on immunisations, speak to your health visitor GP to find out more.
Can I still get feeding support?
Yes. It’s worth finding out if your local breastfeeding support group has considered moving to video calls. Check out our feeding page here for more information or call our Feeding Support line on 0300 330 0700 to chat through any questions or concerns with one of our Breastfeeding Counsellors.
Will I still have my six week postnatal check?
Yes, but it is likely to be delayed until eight weeks (NHS, 2020).
If you have any specific concerns about your recovery or your baby in the meantime, please do speak to your health visitor or GP.
Can I take my baby for a walk?
Yes, as daily exercise is allowed, alone or with your partner. There’s no reason this can’t be a walk with your baby. Just follow physical distancing guidance and stay two metres from other people.
What if I can’t find nappies in the supermarket?
With physical distancing measures in place at most large supermarkets and staggered entry, we’ll hopefully see the end of empty shelves.
You could also try smaller local shops or your closest pharmacy might be able to order them in for you if you’re running short. Give them a call to find out.
There’s also the option of cloth nappies that might make you feel less anxious, as you take away the worry of running out.
If I have symptoms of coronavirus, should I breastfeed my baby?
Current guidance is that you can continue to breastfeed your baby but just take precautions. Read more in our article here.
What if I can’t find formula for my baby?
When you’re bottle feeding your baby, it’s obviously a huge concern if you can’t get hold of milk, and can make even the calmest mum panic. We’re here to reassure you. Firstly, while the supermarkets may have issues getting things onto shelves at the moment, there is reassurance that stock of baby formula is there. In the meantime, try smaller local shops and chemists, who seem to be better stocked with it.
If you can’t find your baby’s normal brand, don’t worry – most brands all have the same ingredients so using an alternative shouldn’t be a problem. Read more here.
Don’t forget that even in these strange, challenging times, there is always support and kindness when you need it.
Institute of Health Visitors. (2020) **Parenting Through Coronavirus (COVID-19)**. Available here: https://ihv.org.uk/families/parenting-through-coronavirus-covid-19/ [Accessed 31 March 2020]
NHS. (2020) COVID-19 Prioritisation within Community Health Services. Available here: https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/wp-content/uploads/sites/52/2020/03/COVID-19-prioritisation-within-community-health-services-19-March-2020-version-1.1.pdf [Accessed 6 April 2020]