Don't visit a newborn when sick: another heartbreaking reminder

Don't visit a newborn when sick: another heartbreaking reminder

Remember these rules when visiting a newborn. While overstaying may not cause anything major, passing on a virus can put newborns in grave danger.

Time and again people need to be reminded of the importance of following the rules for visiting a newborn. While overstaying and coming at wrong times might only inconvenience the new parents, leaving a virus behind can potentially cause harm to their fragile newborn – in some cases, even serious illness and death.

Mom Ashley Conklin recently shared a video of her 11-day-old newborn hooked up with tubes and gasping for air. Attached to the video were captions: "Everyone needs to see what a simple cold can do to babies. My 11 day old (now 13 days old) has contracted RSV, pneumonia, and bronchitis due to a simple viral cold."


Only 11 days after he was born, Oliver was admitted for pneumonia, RSV, and a bacterial infection.

Aside from a series of blood and urine tests, Oliver had an IV in his head, and chest x-rays done. He was hooked up with oxygen, breathing treatments and a lumbar puncture to figure out why he was so sick.

X-ray results showed he had bacterial pneumonia, but he had no fever to back that up. Test results showed positive for RSV as the hospital continued to monitor his condition

19 February

Overnight the virus kicked in a little more and they had to get Oliver suctioned every hour to help with his breathing.

Oliver had more chest retractions – a physical sign he wasn't getting enough air. But overall he did show signs of improvement and there were no fever spikes. Still, there was a possibility that his condition could go downhill quickly due to him being so small and fragile.

Ashley made it very clear that they would not be receiving any visitors, following strict rules for visiting a newborn. Everyone that entered the room had to be fully gowned and masked to prevent RSV from spreading to others in the children's ward. It was a difficult time for Ashley because they had to leave their eldest son with her mom and he was missing everyone and his baby brother.

Their first good news came when hospital confirmed that Oliver did not have bacterial pneumonia and that the chest X-ray only showed RSV and Bronchiolitis. However, he did have VIRAL pneumonia and they were only on day three and four of this virus. Peak day is day five, which meant staying in the hospital to keep up with monitoring.

The following day and at the peak of RSV, it was a very worrisome morning for the family. But towards evening, Oliver's condition started to get better and the family hoped for a positive update in the morning.

Finally, Oliver was well enough to be discharged! He managed to get up to 8 pounds 14oz and was given the green light to go home to his family and older brother.
Even though their unpleasant experience was caused by a common cold, which might seem harmless to children and adults, it has proven to be potentially deadly in infants and the elderly. Ashley hopes that by sharing the video, this would create awareness on rules for visiting a newborn.

Watch the heartbreaking video here

7 Key Rules for Visiting a Newborn

1. Call before visiting the new parents

Having a new baby means crazy schedules. So do call and work around the new parents' schedule. Be flexible and be patient, remember how stressful it was when you had your first baby?

2. Wash your hands and make sure your hands are clean before touching or holding the baby

Making sure your hands are clean is one of the most important rules for visiting a newborn. ALWAYS wash your hands and make sure your hands are free of germs before holding the newborn you’re visiting. They are still very fragile and have a weaker immune system.

3. No kissing!

Remember the tragic story about the newborn who died after contracting herpes? As cute as babies may be, please refrain from kissing a newborn on the face (or anywhere else, really). Other rules for visiting a newborn include never sticking your fingers in their mouth(especially if they are crying when hungry). Just DON'T!

4. Ask before taking any photos

Even though you might think it is fine, it is still a good practice to ask for permission before snapping any pictures. This might not be one of the common rules for visiting a newborn, but with so many internet safety issues today, parents might not be comfortable with other people taking pictures of their newborn – or worse, posting them on social media without their permission. So do ask first and remember to turn off your flash!

5. Leave your other kids at home

Even if your kids are well-mannered, it is best to leave them at home. The new parents might want smaller groups of visitors so that it is quiet and cosy without causing more anxiety. More people equals higher risk of germs too! So do bear this in mind as one of the key rules for visiting a newborn. Your kids can always visit later when the baby is older.

6. Do ask how you can help

Ask if you can cook them a meal or bring something over. Do offer to help, even if it is something small. A little help goes a long way – anything to help make things easier for the new parents is always welcome.

7. Don’t overstay your welcome

Aside from being mindful of the rules for visiting a newborn, do take note of the time. Try not to stay longer than half an hour in case the baby needs to nurse or the new mom needs some rest. Be sensitive and pick up the vibe when you visit. Always err on the side of shorter visit, because there will surely be other visitors. A shorter visit will also give much needed time for the new family to bond and catch a breather in between.


Source: Ashley Conklin

READ ALSO: Newborns can suffer from stroke

Republished with permission from: theAsianParent Singapore


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Sinulat ni

Rosanna Chio

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