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How To Prepare To Have Your Baby During The Covid-19 Pandemic

Today I’d love to share some tips on how to prepare to have your baby particularly during this covid-19 pandemic. The world is in total upheaval right now, and yet new life is entering this world every day. After years of working as a postpartum nurse, I’ve gathered up some top tips to help you get prepared to have your baby. Now I’ve adjusted them to our current state of life amidst the coronavirus outbreak, so that you can be prepared, safe, and healthy!

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How To Prepare To Have Your Baby During Pregnancy

These tips are the same that I share in this blog post as well as in my FREE online Baby Bootcamp class. Except now, I’ve tailored these tips to our current status of dealing with Covid-19. This virus is sweeping the nation and the world, and completely changing how we practice in the hospital setting. So, here’s how to prepare to have your baby during your pregnancy so that you are all set to deliver, especially amidst the coronavirus outbreak.

Discuss Expectations & Plan With Your Spouse/Support Person

Discussing your expectations with your spouse/support person is especially important during this outbreak. Recognize that if your spouse/support person presents to the hospital with any signs/symptoms of covid-19, he/she will be sent home for the safety of you, your baby, and the other patients as well as hospital staff. Most (if not every) hospital in the U.S.A. is screening everyone that walks through the doors for signs of the virus. This may mean that your delivery will look a lot different than you expected. Talk through those scenarios and exactly how you’ll handle them should that be in the case, which I sincerely hope is not.

Another thing to consider, is that if your spouse/support person has any underlying conditions (such as heart disease, diabetes, asthma, etc), it may be safer for them to stay home and not be in the hospital with you. The less exposure those with underlying medical conditions have to the virus, the better.

Of course, statuses are changing by the hour when it comes to the covid-19 outbreak, and it might be that the hospital where you’ll be delivering has chosen to say no visitors at all, even spouses, at this point in time. This may change in the next few weeks/months as the virus hopefully starts to dissipate. Remember, this is for your safety, but I know it’s a hard pill to swallow. I guess the only silver lining is that thank goodness we live in an era of FaceTime, right? It’s not the same as having him there, and labor is certainly a time in your life when you want loving support from your family, but unfortunately right now we’re facing a difficult time.

Related Post: 10 Things You Must Do Before Baby Arrives

Take a Prenatal Class At Home

Because of what I just discussed, I think now it’s more important than ever to prepare for labor, delivery, postpartum, and beyond by taking prenatal/newborn courses. Unfortunately, because of covid-19, all hospitals have canceled their on-site classes. But, never fear, there are amazing online prenatal courses you can take right from the comfort of your own home.

In this blog post, I share 4 classes that I think will help you immensely before having your baby. The first is a labor and delivery course by am L&D nurse and blogger over at Pulling Curls. The other courses are on breastfeeding and newborn sleep, and I’ll share soon why these courses might ultimately save your sanity during this pandemic. And, last but certainly not least, is my own online postpartum course, Baby’s Beginning.

Baby’s Beginning is my first in a (hopefully) series of online courses for moms called The Mommy Masterclasses. This class will prepare you for postpartum life with what to expect right after the birth of your baby, to your time in the hospital, and then going home. I discuss everything from newborn testing, to basic newborn care, to breastfeeding & bottle feeding, as well as how to care for your postpartum self, and so much more! You can check out my course here.

Because of Covid-19, our postpartum patients are staying in the hospital for less time it seems. Our patients are requesting to be discharged as soon as they possibly can, and I don’t blame them. So, taking courses ahead of time to prepare you for life with a new baby is imperative, because there is no way that nurses in the hospital can teach you everything you need to know about caring for your baby and yourself in such a short period of time when you’re also trying to rest and heal and maybe grab a bite to eat in there too! So, make sure you check out these invaluable online courses!

Related Post:4 Classes To Take Before You Have Your Baby

Choose a Pediatrician That Offers TeleVisits

Another important thing to do before your baby arrives, is choosing a pediatrician. I discuss this more about why this is an important thing to do during pregnancy in this post, but in this current crisis make sure you look for a pediatrician that offers TeleVisits. These are basically like doctor’s visits via FaceTime where you can speak to your baby’s physician or nurse practitioner online from your home.

Also, make sure that your chosen practice has an on-call doctor 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. That’s super important for those 2 a.m. questions that pop up at home!

Install The Infant’s Car Seat

I am adamant about making sure new parents play around with the car seat, figure out how it works, and ultimately installing the base and attaching the car seat in the car long before the baby arrives. Babies do come early. A due date is just an estimate, so don’t wait until your in labor to fiddle around with the car seat.

Typically, I recommend that new parents have their car seat installation verified by a car seat technician, but since all sites that verify car seats are closed due to covid-19, you’ll have to make sure it’s done properly yourself. Always refer to your car seat’s manual, and possible check out your car seat manufacturers YouTube channel for further instructions. Most of them have detailed instructions on how to install the car seat there, like this installation video of the UppaBaby Mesa Infant Car Seat Base…

Popular Brands YouTube Channels: Britax, UppaBaby, Nuna, Chico, & Graco.

Check out my car seat installation tips from the certified car seat technician I had the pleasure of working with, here! Yo won’t want to miss these tips!

Related Post: 10 Things You Need To Know About Your Baby’s Car Seat

Set Up A Safe Sleep Environment For Baby At Home

This tip is always true and relevant no matter what crisis is going on in the world. It’s important to plan ahead for sleep times because a simple nap will become like a block of gold to you in the coming future with a newborn. Set up a safe sleep environment for your baby, preferably in your room for rooming in. I suggest a bassinet with a firm mattress, a sleep sack, a white noise machine, and maybe a pacifier or two. Make yourself a diaper changing caddy for those late night feedings, and keep your nursing pillow nearby.

To learn more about safe sleep tips and a safe sleeping environment for your new baby, click here! And, to learn more about how to prevent SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), click here! Both of these are filled with invaluable tips and tricks to get you a good night’s rest and some peace of mind.

Related Post: 9 Newborn Sleep Tips That Every Tired Mom Needs To Know

Tour The Hospital Via Their Website If Available

Normally I would recommend that new parents tour the hospital where they’ll be delivering, but since hospitals are basically on lock-down during the covid-19 outbreak, you may have to settle for an online tour. Check with your local hospital to see if they offer cyber tours or have room tours on their website.

Learn Infant CPR Via The Internet

Another important way for you to prepare for your baby, is to learn infant CPR. Of course, traditional CPR classes are on hold until the pandemic is over however you can learn CPR at home via this reputable website. Here’s an example of how an online CPR class works. I would encourage you to have anyone that is going to be watching or caring for you baby take this online CPR course. It just may save your baby’s life like it did Ryet’s. Read his amazing story here!

Related Post: Ryet’s Story- Why Learning Infant CPR Could Save Your Baby’s Life

Pack Your Hospital Bags With Necessities

I personally believe, it’s best to only bring necessities to the hospital especially during the cover-19 outbreak. Bring a change of clothes for mom, dad/support person, and baby. Don’t pack baby’s entire closet, ya know what I mean. I’d pack lots of snacks, maybe Tylenol or Motrin for dad, your own camera, and only necessary toiletries. Also, don’t forget to bring baby’s car seat. Here’s some more thoughts…

What To Bring To The Hospital:

  • Going home clothes for mom, dad, and baby
  • Infant Car Seat
  • Toiletries
  • Snacks/Gum
  • Water Bottles
  • Tylenol & Motrin for Dad
  • Camera
  • Chargers
  • Disinfectant Wipes/Sprays (if you want too)

What NOT To Bring To The Hospital During Covid-19:

  • Pillows (use the hospitals, they are wipable)
  • Breast Pumps (typically will hospital will have a pump should you need one)
  • Baby Supplies (such as diapers and wipes- the hospital will have these supplies)
  • Nursing Pillow (the nurses/lactation consultant typically use the hospital’s anyways since they’re thoroughly cleaned between patients)
  • Anything Extra, Stick To The Basics (bring only necessities so you won’t have to disinfect and rewash a bunch of stuff as soon as you get home)

Find Online Mom Tribes To Connect With

Normally I would also suggest that you connect with friends and family member who have babies to get some one-on-one instruction, advice, and experience. But, since we’re all social distancing these days thanks to covid-19, you may need to find an online tribe of mamas to encourage you and bounce ideas off of. Search Facebook for local mom-groups you can join. These are great for exchanging baby items, tips and tricks, and for meet-up play dates for when this self-quarantine is all over with.

Get Lots Of Rest, & Stay Healthy

And, as always, prior to having your baby, if you’re able, rest as much as you can and stay healthy. Drink lots of water, eat a healthy, balanced diet, and do some light exercise like stretching, yoga, or walking. Make sure you head your doctor’s instructions when it comes to prophylactic vaccines (such as Tdap to protect your baby against pertussis) and the flu vaccine (to protect you and your baby).

Once baby comes, especially amidst this outbreak, your in-person helpers will need to be limited. So, rest as much as you can before the baby arrives so you are ready and able to care for yourself and your newborn.

Related Post: Newborn Care 101- What You Need To Know When You Leave The Hospital

Preparing For Labor & Delivery During The Covid-19 Pandemic

Now let’s talk about how this Covid-19 pandemic may effect your labor and delivery experience. We recognize that when our patient’s come into the hospital, it is typically for a happy reason and this is something you’ve been looking forward too, preparing for, and anticipating for months.

Unfortunately, the rest of the hospital is filled with folks that are really sick and don’t want to be there. Some may not make it home, especially due to coronavirus. That simply just the times we are facing right now.

Because of this, your labor and deliver experience will probably be much different than you expected and planning for. And, for that I’m sorry. But, as always, our ultimate goal is a healthy mom and healthy baby that we get to send home in a couple of days. That goal hasn’t changed and never will. So, here are some things to consider before arriving to the hospital to have your baby…

How To Know When To Come Into The Hospital

Have a candid talk with your doctor about when to come to the hospital, because the less you’re out in the public the better these days. Here are some good rules of thumb, but obviously discuss these with your doctor first…

  • Decreased Fetal Movement (make sure you’re doing your kick counts!)
  • Water Breaking (also note the color and consistency of your amniotic fluid if it happens to break at home)
  • Foul Odor From Your Vagina
  • Running a Fever/Not Feeling Well
  • Consistent Contractions

How To Face Ever Changing Visitor Restrictions

Another thing to consider in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak, is that “ancillary” visitor will not be allowed. This means doulas, cord blood banking folks, photographers, etc. If you were planning on having a doula/birth coach at your deliver, check to see if they’ll do it electronically through FaceTime for instance. Also check with the other services you were planning on using like cord blood registries or photographers with what they’re policies and practices are during this outbreak.

For those desiring beautiful pictures of their newborns on birth, I’ve got more information for you down below!

Related Post: 10 Must-Have Items You’ll Need When Taking Your Baby Home

How To Prepare To Take Care Of Your Baby Postpartum During The Coronavirus Outbreak

Now we’re entering my wheelhouse…postpartum. I’ve worked as a postpartum nurse for over 10 years, and helped thousands of families go home with their newborn. So, here are some tips I have for you before you leave the hospital, and how to prepare for your postpartum life before you even have the baby. Here’s some food for though…

How To Get Breastfeeding Help At Home

Breastfeeding is one of those things that takes a lot of practice and often times professional help to get right. I would normally recommend finding a lactation consultant in your community who can do home visits and help you set up your environment for feedings and work on latch and so on, but because of covid-19 that’s not possible.

So, the next best thing is Lactation Link. These are the online breastfeeding course that I highly recommend to patients that teach you everything there is to know about how to breastfeed successfully. Also, they’ll do lactation consultants electronically as well so you can help in your home safely and when you need it most!

Related Post: Top 10 Breastfeeding Tips For New Moms

Restrict Your Visitors

It is especially important to restrict your visitor during this time. Some pregnancy women have unknowingly passed Covid-19 onto their unborn baby prior to delivery, and their newborns have then tested positive for the virus after birth. Thankfully, coronavirus doesn’t seem to hitting newborn or young babies that hard at this point in time, but that may change.

What we do know, however, is that people 40 and over are at high risk for contracting the virus and having health complications. So, no visitors at this time, even grandparents. They are in the at-risk group, and your newborn could even pass the virus on to them, which is extremely scary. I know that this may be quite a challenge and an emotional decision. But, it really is in the best interest of yours, your baby’s, and your family’s health to make this tough decision.

Rest When You Can

Because your helpers are quite limited during this outbreak, make sure you are getting as much rest as possible. If you are struggling with calming your baby or getting your baby to sleep, check out my postpartum/newborn course, Baby’s Beginning. I offer tons of tips on how to calm and soothe your newborn.

If you are looking for a lot of help with getting your newborn to sleep, you have to check out Taking Cara Babies. Cara is a fellow nurse (NICU nurse to be exact), pediatrician’s wife, and mom of 4. She offers classes as well as e-consults to help you troubleshoot your baby’s sleep.

Stock Up On Healthy Meals For Your Family (& Even Formula For Baby)

Stocking up on healthy (preferably freezer) meals is something you can do long before your baby arrives. I’m sure typically, carry-out or family-delivered meals would’ve been your best options. But, amidst covid-19, you may have to pre-plan your meals for a few weeks.

Check out these online delivery services that can help you stock your freezer and pantry with much-needed healthy meals for your postpartum period….

Also, even if you plan to breastfeed, stock up on some formula just in case. People in the midst of this outbreak, are hoarding formula. If your baby needs a feeding in the middle of the night, and there are no stores open or their shelves are empty, you’ll really be up a creek. Don’t miss this tip! Stock up on formula just in case!

Related Post: The 10 Best Bottles For Breastfed Babies

Continue Routine Follow-Up Visits

After you deliver your baby, you will be expected to continue your routine follow-up visits even during the covid-19 outbreak. Talk to you OB and your pediatrician about how these routine visits will look, and inquire if they offer TeleVisits or eVisits. Your pediatrician will most likely want to actually examine your baby in the office, because your baby’s early development is very important and needs to be followed.

DIY Newborn Photo Ideas

Newborn/Birth photographers aren’t permitted to be at the hospital right now because of covid-19, however I do have some help for you. My Instagram buddy, @hellojessiemartin, who is due with a baby in June and also just happens to be a photographer, has created a pdf of how to take your own amazing DIY newborn photos. And, it’s FREE!! You can download the guide here.

Don’t have a DSLR camera? No worries, I share my iPhone tips and tricks for creating gorgeous photos with an iPhone here in this post. Also, I share how I edit my photos with presets, so don’t miss out on that post so you can get the perfect shots of your little one.

Related Post: Best Pregnancy & Baby Gear of 2020

How To Recognize Postpartum Depression In Mom &/Or Dad

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that I predict that postpartum depression rates are going to soar given our current situation with cover-19. The lack of community and familial support, plus troubleshooting a newborn and life after birth, mixed with a global pandemic is pretty overwhelming on a good day.

It is imperative that you and your spouse/support person be extra vigilant and watch for signs of postpartum depression. It is normal to experience “baby blues” for about 2 weeks after birth where emotions rollercoaster up down and all around. But, if those feelings of doom and gloom continue for several weeks, reach out to your doctor. Don’t be afraid to share that you’re feeling overwhelmed. And, this goes for dads too. They can also experience postpartum depression.

Having a baby is a HUGE life change, so reach out to family and friends if you’re feeling like you may need help. There’s no shame is asking for help!

Warning Signs To Watch For In Mom & Baby Postpartum

Also, are a few warning signs I think you should know about postpartum. In my Baby’ Beginning postpartum course, I go through these warning signs in great detail. But if you need a quick reference, you can see a quick list here in this post along with tons of tips for new moms!

I hope these tips on how to prepare for you baby amidst a global viral outbreak was helpful. Never thought I’d be typing those words! If you have any questions or further suggestions, please leave them in the comments below or reach out to me at

Stay safe & healthy, sweet mama!

One Comment

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