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With all the troubling news in the world today about this pandemic, we can all use a little good news, right? Well, thankfully, there IS some good news to share about how newborns are benefiting from social distancing!
Good news about social distancing and newborns!
While many moms are experiencing isolation and fear with the lack of help or visitors during the 4th trimester, newborn babies seem to be THRIVING!
Midwives in the UK are noticing how quickly newborn babies are getting back up to their birth weights!
While it’s normal for babies to lose a little of their birth weight, it typically takes a couple of weeks for many babies to regain that lost weight.
According to My Expert Midwife in the UK, babies are coming back up to their birth weight within the first week. Although there is no formal study yet, this does seem to be a trend that they are noticing.
The midwives believe that the lock-down and self-isolation has prevented the typical stream of visitors, allowing moms and babies to have uninterrupted bonding time.
Without visitors and the busyness of “normal life,” moms and babies have more time for skin-to-skin bonding and time to establish breastfeeding. They are also able to feed longer, helping babies regain their birth weight more quickly! Yeah!!
I have always been a huge advocate for limiting visitors during the first 2 weeks, and this is one very good reason why!!
Of course, this is only anecdotal evidence at this point, so time will tell if this trend continues or begins to be seen world-wide.
However, even without any formal study, I think that common sense would suggest that social distancing would indeed benefit newborns!
Less visitors or interruptions = more skin-to-skin/bonding = more breastfeeding = more weight gain for baby and a well-established, ABUNDANT milk supply for mom…. seems to be a win win!
Less visitors could also mean more opportunities for mom to nap as well. (Hopefully)
Why Babies LOVE Social Distancing
If you are a new mama, (or will soon be) this is good news for your baby! Babies need nothing more than their mamas for love and survival. If they are alone with mom, they are happy campers!
Try to grab onto this happy nugget of news and if your baby is happy, gaining weight and THRIVING, count yourself very blessed during this time!
How are New Moms Handling Social Distancing?
While social distancing seems to be great for newborns, how is all this isolation affecting new moms?
For the most part, social distancing is making it much harder for new moms to access the kind of postpartum support that they desperately need! 🙁
Postpartum support in the U.S. has already been sorely lacking, and this pandemic has only made things worse!
With early hospital releases and limited nursing staff, new moms are struggling to get their questions answered.
In addition, many new parents are not able to get the usual help from relatives, friends, nannies or care providers.
What about YOU?
If you are a new mama, how are YOU handling this time of social distancing and isolation?
How can YOU get the help you need in order to get through this time and thrive as well?
If you are not able to have that in-person help and support of family and friends, then you need to be creative and think “outside the box” a bit right now. Thankfully, I’ve got some ideas for you…
13+ Survival Tips for New Moms in Isolation
Don’t be afraid to advocate for yourself!
If you have breastfeeding, newborn or postpartum questions, keep calling your provider or hospital until you get the answers you need!
Some new moms are finding it helpful to “count their blessings” everyday. Things like…
I have a healthy baby. My family is healthy. I get to stay home with my baby. Etc. etc.
What are YOU thankful for today? Take time to call these things to mind everyday. Write them down if that helps, too!
Try to make the best of this!
I know, I know… this is really hard.
Having a newborn is hard enough with help and support. Now, some of you have to do this thing all alone.
I can’t image how this is for you, dear mama! I am truly sorry that you are dealing with this. It’s not right. It’s not fair! But… here you are. How can you make the best of it?
Let’s brainstorm together some ways that you can make the best of your current situation.
Take Lots of Pictures!
Try to remember that your newborn is growing and changing so fast.
The newborn season is really a blink of an eye in the grand scheme of life.
Since you probably won’t have many visitors right now, then capture the precious newborn snuggles with lots of photographs (and videos) to share with loved ones and to remember this time. (Actually, you probably won’t forget it, right?!)
Give yourself a Pep Talk!
Try to eliminate all the negative self-talk and give yourself daily doses of positive, true, encouraging messages instead…
- “You are strong!”
- “You are not alone!”
- “This too shall pass”
- “This will be a story you will tell your kids someday!”
- “You will get through this!“
Follow the 5-5-5 Rule for Postpartum Recovery!
Have you heard of the 5-5-5 Rule? Well… this pandemic is the perfect opportunity to try this!
This is a postpartum recovery rule for resting during the first 15 days of your baby’s life.
Here is the quick explanation:
- 5 days IN the bed
- 5 days ON the bed
- 5 days NEAR the bed!
Following this simple bed rest rule helps new moms to recover, rest and bond with their babies.
In addition, the prolonged skin-to-skin sessions during all this lovely bed-rest, calms babies and mamas, helping them overcome a multitude of postpartum and breastfeeding issues!
Many of my clients and readers have tried it and have LOVED the 15 days of being pampered and spoiled!
Learn more about The 5-5-5 Rule in this post.
Accept Self-Quarantined Help
If your mother, mother-in-law, sister or friend wants to help you, consider accepting help from those who have been good about keeping quarantine before your baby is/was born.
Some families have had a relative come and live with them for an extended period and that has worked as well.
Ask for Help! Creative Ways Others Can Help You (While social distancing)
Here are some creative ways that others can help you while still maintaining a safe distance from you and your baby. Consider some of these possibilities:
- Ask someone to set up an online Meal Train for you! Find out more HERE.
- Leave an empty cooler on your porch so that friends and family can leave you hot or frozen meals!
- Put an empty plastic bin (with lid) outside your door so folks can drop off groceries, baby gifts, prescriptions, etc.
- Ask people to run your errands or walk your dog
- Friends can take and wash your laundry for you
- Have online visits with friends and family
- Chat online with care providers, lactation support and doulas
- Friends or family can clean and sanitize your home while you and baby rest in the bedroom
- Older children and pets can take a “vacation” to Grandma’s (or other loved ones) while you rest and recover during the first 2 weeks after birth. (See 5-5-5 rule above)
Reach out for Postpartum and Lactation Support
While social distancing for newborns may be sweet, new moms usually need lots of support during the early weeks!
Thankfully, many postpartum doulas will still come to your home for in-person support, if you are comfortable with that. They are taking great precautions to keep their clients safe! For example, many of them are keeping quarantine and only working with one family at a time.
You can also find virtual support from postpartum doulas and lactation specialists!
If you are curious about virtual support, check out these two postpartum groups that I highly recommend… HERE and HERE. (I have worked professionally with both these companies and can personally testify that they are both top-notch doula teams who offer in-person and virtual support right now!!)
Reach out for Mental or Emotional Support!
One of the biggest concerns of isolation during postpartum recovery, is how it affects your mental health. If you feel like you are emotionally or mentally struggling no matter what you do, please reach out for professional help!
But, DON’T wait until things get “really bad” before you do, either!
Here are some of my favorite resources for postpartum depression, anxiety or other perinatal mood disorders:
FREE Postpartum Mood Disorders Resources:
Fresh air and sunshine can do wonders for your health and mood. Consider sitting outside or taking slow, short walks everyday if you are able.
Have you Joined a New Moms Group?
There are many online new mom support groups that you can join. Some of them also have online classes. Check out Facebook groups and local new mom groups that might have online meetings right now.
The great thing about sharing with other new moms is that many of them are in the same boat. They will understand what you are going though, since many of them are either going through similar struggles or have recently given birth themselves.
Here are some links to get you started…
If you are still pregnant, It’s time to focus…
- Make a postpartum plan!
- Take online classes for childbirth, breastfeeding and newborn care
- Put the finishing touches on your baby’s room
- Pack your hospital bag
- Do your pregnancy exercises to prepare for birth
- Stock your pantry and household supplies
- Finish your pre-baby shopping
- Be informed. Learn all you can about birth, postpartum and newborn care!
- Plan, plan, plan!
How to Write a Postpartum Plan so you can R-E-L-A-X!
I have created a FREE postpartum planning course and printable postpartum plan that gets you ready for a smoother postpartum recovery. I hope you will give it a try!
Social Distancing for Newborns and Mamas… What About You?
- How have you and your baby been doing during this time of social isolation?
- What have been the blessings and the challenges for YOU?
- Have you found any helpful resources or tips that have helped you cope?
- Please share and help other mamas!