What New Parents Need to Know About COVID-19

April 16, 2020

Clinical Contributors to this Story

Anil Pawa, M.D. contributes to topics such as Pediatrics.

There’s no denying that the past few weeks have been a difficult time for all of us, especially new parents. The current situation around COVID-19 is a stressful one for many – but we’re here to give you the rundown on how to stay safe while enjoying this very special time with your new baby.

What should I do for my baby’s follow up appointments?

Follow up appointments and well-baby visits with your pediatrician are essential for your newborn. You should talk with your OB/GYN or pediatrician about your baby’s specific schedule.

“Many offices will ask you to call before your appointment, that way, you’ll be able to wait in the car instead of in the waiting room. Many Hackensack Meridian pediatricians are also offering telehealth options for certain types of visits,” says Anil Pawa, M.D., Chief of Pediatric Primary Care at Hackensack Meridian K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital.

Check with your doctor’s office to see if virtual or phone consultations are a good alternative to visiting the office. You can rely on your care team any time to answer your questions or concerns.

Can a family member help to provide hands-on support to new parents?

One of the most challenging, emotional aspects of the COVID-19 outbreak is the fact that many grandparents won’t get to immediately meet new babies and will have to put off seeing their grandchildren for what could be months.

“We currently advise no visitors and waiting until the baby has built up some immunity before grandparents and other family members come to visit the home,” says Dr. Pawa. But social distancing doesn’t have to mean social isolation.

New parents can stay connected to grandma, grandpa, and other friends and family by using technology. Using FaceTime and apps like Skype and House Party can help you to connect with your loved ones, ask them for support, and enjoy special moments all while practicing social distancing.

How do I keep my family safe?

It’s more than likely you’re going to need diapers, formula, and other necessary items for your newborn. The best thing you can do is have a partner or a loved one go to the store for you, and follow the CDC guidelines on how to protect yourself and others.

“You have to be especially careful around your newborn – wash your hands frequently,” says Dr. Pawa. “We don’t want to cause alarm, we want to make sure you protect yourself, and your family.”

There are also many helpful bits of information available on grocery shopping during the pandemic, how to safely unload your groceries, and more tips.

How can I stay calm and focused as a new parent?

Talking about any stress, anxiety, or your feelings is important. Many new moms experience hormonal changes and need support. Share your concerns with your OBGYN. Families with questions about COVID-19 or who are experiencing anxiety during this time should relay their concerns to their OBGYN or health care provider. In addition, the team at our Integrative Health and Medicine program is offering online, live sessions to help you manage stress and practice mindful meditation and self-care.

Next Steps & Resources

The material provided through HealthU is intended to be used as general information only and should not replace the advice of your physician. Always consult your physician for individual care.