As a new or expectant mom, there’s a lot to manage, from a new routine with your family to your baby’s health. As the coronavirus outbreak continues, you may be unclear about what you can do, who you can see, and when things will return to ‘normal’. As places enter different phases of reopening, it’s important to not only follow your local health department’s rules and recommendations, but to also consider what you’re comfortable with and what’s best for you and your family. Ask yourself:
- What do I need right now?
- What doctor’s appointments do I need to schedule and go to?
- What can I do to keep myself and my family safe and healthy?
- What type of social support works best for me?
Whether you’re comfortable seeing friends, family, and doctors in-person again or staying at home, these are your decisions to make. There’s no right or wrong way to adjust to this new lifestyle, but there are ways to prevent the spread of germs and to be prepared.
Preparing for Doctor’s Appointments
From prenatal to well-baby visits, doctor’s appointments are inevitable. While many doctors have transitioned to telehealth, you may still have to visit your doctor in-person. Going into a healthcare facility may be scary, but there are ways to prepare for your visit and to safely receive care.
Before your visit:
- Create a list of questions that you have for your provider.
- Call your doctor’s office the day before your appointment to ask about their social distancing procedure.
- Pack a pen, hand sanitizer, mask, and tissue.
During your visit:
- Follow all the normal precautions to stop the spread of germs.
- Ask your healthcare provider your list of questions.
- Discuss any of other health concerns.
- Use touchless payment methods, if needed.
After your visit:
- Follow any recommendations from your provider about follow-up care.
- If you have to pick up a prescription, coordinate with your pharmacy to pick up all your medications at the same time.
Remember, everyone at your healthcare facility from your provider to front office staff are taking steps to keep you safe. If you have any questions or concerns, contact your provider.
Preparing for Social Interactions
You are the expert of your own life and know what you need to feel supported. You may feel comfortable seeing family and friends again, and that’s perfectly okay. Physically seeing your support system can provide a different sense of comfort than seeing them on a screen. But before you decide to see your friends and family, ask yourself some questions:
- How many people will I be seeing?
- How long will I be seeing them for?
- Where will I be seeing them?
Remember, interacting with more people can increase your chance of getting COVID-19 as well as being in indoor spaces, so follow the CDC’s recommendations for social distancing. It’s important to consider how you can safely see your friends and family to reduce your chance of both getting and spreading COVID-19. Below are some activities that you can do to connect with others:
- Have a picnic in the park to keep a safe distance between others.
- Coordinate walk around a neighborhood or on a local trail.
- Enjoy a meal on a patio or balcony.
If you or someone you spent time with develops COVID-19 symptoms, contact your healthcare provider and follow these guidelines.
Your New Normal
As we all decide what normal is for us, it’s important to remind yourself that there’s no right or wrong routine. You know yourself and your family the best! As you decide what you’re comfortable with, remember to always stop the spread of germs by washing your hands, covering your nose and mouth with a mask, and practicing social distancing.