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A checklist for new parents in the pandemic

cuddling a newborn

We are living in strange times and anyone having a baby right now might be feeling isolated and unsure of where to go for support and reassurance.

At the end of your pregnancy

  • Ask you midwife what happens when you bring your baby home. Will there be home visits and how many?
  • When will you get to meet/speak to your health visitor?

Your health visitor

  • Ask how the postnatal checks will work – are any face-to-face appointments?
  • When will your baby be weighed?
  • Can you contact her if you have any concerns and how do you do this?

Weighing

  • Ask your health visitor if your baby can be weighed?
  • Look for the signs that your baby is putting on weight: getting bigger, healthy skin, wet & pooey nappies, alert and settled in-between feeds.
  • If your baby can’t be weighed by your health visitor and you would like some reassurance of weight-gain, you could use some bathroom scales for an indication. You or your partner can stand on the scales – so you know your weight – and then with your baby so you know can calculate your baby’s weight.
  • If you have any concerns about your baby’s weight, get in touch with your health visitor or your GP.

Breastfeeding Concerns

  • If you have any worries about feeding you need to get some support and reassurance straight away. You can speak to your community midwife in those early days or with your health visitor, after 10 days.
  • Speaking to a breastfeeding professional can be the best option for practical and experienced guidance. Contact the La Leche League (LLL) for local support groups and lactation consultants.
  • If a tongue tie is suspected, a referral to an NHS clinic can be made by a midwife, health visitor or GP. These clinics can have long waiting lists and Covid may have affected this further. Ask your local LLL group about private clinics for tongue tie division as this may be an option for you.

Support & Reassurance

In addition to speaking to your midwife and health visitor, it can be helpful to find yourself some trusted postnatal groups for ongoing and helpful reassurance.

My practice has a supportive Facebook group for conversation and questions.

I run online small group postnatal sessions: Mother Cuppa & Baby Massage as well as 1:1 Sessions for ongoing support, reassurance and questions about babies and early parenting.

Easing Isolation

  • There has never been anything quite like this and so many parents with babies are feeling isolated because they can’t see and get support from friends and family.
  • Do use technology and chat/see friends and family using phone and video calls.
  • Access baby support and groups online – it’s different but it can still be brilliant and beneficial.
  • Get out for a walk and some fresh air – you can currently walk with another person for company and this may be relaxed further when we move out of lockdown.

If you are feeling overwhelmed, anxious or depressed

  • Speak to your health visitor and/or GP – you may need additional support and they can arrange that.
  • Reach out within your support network and try to talk about how you are feeling.
  • You can have a chat with me about how you are feeling and we can talk about what support you might need.

You might feel alone but you are not alone.
Please keep asking questions, reach out and say how you are feeling so you can get the right information and support for you.

Just send me a message here if you have any questions.
Janine Smith | A specialist in pregnancy, birth and working with parents