With viruses running rampant, it’s beyond easy to feel overwhelmed at the idea of any visitor coming near your baby. Mums have taken to platforms like Facebook and Instagram to issue stern statements telling visitors they must be vaccinated or they won’t be invited in, with #NoVaxNoVisit posts gaining momentum.
With everyone wanting to grab a peek and a cuddle with your newborn, it can seem impossible to ward off potential exposure or illness. The thought of your sniffling auntie wanting to give your baby a kiss can send you over the edge. Kisses and general affection are very beneficial to the growth and development of your baby, but some limitations might be needed.
Keeping your child healthy is your utmost goal. Creating boundaries and rules may help you feel at ease, but what rules are truly necessary?
What symptoms need to be kept away?
As a rule, anyone with virus-like symptoms such as cold sores, a fever, runny nose, cough, or vomiting, should automatically steer clear of the hospital or home until the symptoms have disappeared. No exceptions. This may seem like common sense, but even a slight cough could get your little one ill. It is best to be clear and upfront with any friends and family by simply telling them to not come until their sickness has passed. It can be hard telling people not to come but babies are so vulnerable in those early days and weeks and it really is non-negotiable.
It’s perfectly normal to hear this and feel chills go up your spine. Without a doubt, your doctor has already advised you to get vaccinated during every pregnancy and your partner/household family members once every 10 years.
What about friends and family though? Your little one is the most vulnerable to this deadly illness up until three months old, so there is definitely a serious need for awareness. In order to feel fully comfortable with visitors, it is suggested that everyone is vaccinated. Anyone that might come in close contact with your child should have their annual influenza vaccine and Tdap (Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis or Whooping Cough) within the last ten years. In the end, it’s about maintaining a sense of security when handing your precious newborn over.
What to do if there is some resistance
Family dynamics are, of course, never easy. Similarly, you might have friends that take firm outlooks against vaccines. Possible resistance and confrontation might cause you some stress, but ultimately taking a strong stance is in your – and your baby’s – best interest. Those who aren’t vaccinated and are opposed to it will have to accept waiting until your baby is a bit older and have had their own vaccinations after six weeks and six months.
Whilst these conversations might be uncomfortable, do your best to remind them that your little one’s health is your number one priority and vaccines are here to protect them. If there is still pushback, consider having a physician join in on the conversation to add some expert advice. Ultimately remember it’s your decision.