Dear Loved Ones: I’m Having A Baby and The Doctor Told Me To Tell You This

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Dear Family and Friends,

I’m grateful for your love and support. I (we) couldn’t be happier that you are planning to see our little bundle of joy when he or she arrives. There are a few things that my doctor wanted to make SURE I told you before you see the little one for the first time.

Wash your hands

This is the first and MOST IMPORTANT thing on my short list. Every surface harbors germs that my baby has never seen. Door handles, railings, elevator buttons, cars and public transportation. Even if you wash your hands when you come over, PLEASE wash them again or use hand sanitizer before holding the baby. I know our little one will need to be exposed to germs eventually, but not fresh out of the gate.

Please don’t kiss the baby on the face or hands

Baby cheeks and hands are the cutest, but also the closest to their mouth. My baby will be constantly touching their face and putting their hands in their mouth. I’d love it if you would kiss the baby on the top of the head or on their feet. Please leave their hands and cheeks for looking, rather than touching.

Please get your vaccines before coming to see or hold the baby

If you are medically able, I would love it if you would make sure you have had a Whooping Cough vaccine, known as the Tdap, within the last 10 years. This is actually a Tetanus shot, but the whooping cough part is the P, which stands for Pertussis. You can get this vaccine at your doctor’s office, or at your local pharmacy, like Walgreens or CVS. Target even often carries this vaccine.

Also, if it is Flu season, I would appreciate it if you would also get a Flu vaccine. Newborn babies are most susceptible to Whooping Cough and Influenza. We just want our baby to be as safe as possible. If you are curious about HOW VACCINES WORK, click here to be taken to another article on this site.

If you are sick at ALL, please keep your distance

I’ll be happy to send you more pictures than you can handle, but please don’t come to see the baby or hold the baby if you are sick. Even a mild cold can make a newborn infant extremely sick. Adults can fight viruses way better than small babies. I really appreciate you respecting this tender baby space.

If you smoke, please wash your hands AND change your clothing

While I thank you for NOT SMOKING around the baby, the sediment from the clothes that you wear while smoking can still increase the baby’s risk for lung infections, ear infections, asthma and SIDS. Please bring a different clean shirt to wear if you want to hold the baby.

While I appreciate your advice, please be mindful that every baby is different

Whether you raised me or other children, I know you have a wealth of experience that is invaluable. If you feel like sharing, please do, but remember that my baby is not your baby. My child may not respond to the same things yours did. If my child doesn’t eat or sleep like yours, for example, so be it.

I will make sure that my baby is safe by consulting with my PEDIATRICIAN regularly. I only ask that you remember that additional advice can also lead to stress and anxiety when a parent is made to feel like they aren’t doing something “RIGHT.” Dispense advice sparingly, please.

Any help around the house that you can offer will be appreciated, even if I don’t accept it

YES. Please ask if you can bring by food or wash some dishes. I love the offer of help. I may have it all together, but I may not. Please don’t hesitate to ask, and I WILL TRY to let go of some things and let you help me.

Lastly, remember that you get to go home and sleep tonight. I don’t

My little one may be working out their daytime, nighttime schedule. And’ he or she is absolutely going to need to eat every few hours, even overnight. That means that I will need to sleep at some point during the day. If you can limit the duration of your visits so that I can sleep while my baby sleeps when the sun is up, that will help me when the sun goes down.

Also, as sweet as it is for you to hold the baby while they sleep, he or she will need to get used to sleeping in the bassinet or crib too. It’s okay to put the baby down to sleep sometimes.

Thank you for reading this article. It helps me to feel safer and more comfortable as a new parent knowing that you care about the things that I care about.

If my OB/GYN thinks these things are important, I do too. I love you for respecting that.

Let’s have a BABY!

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Wendy Goodall McDonald M.D.

Dr. Wendy Goodall McDonald is a board certified OBGYN. She began practicing medicine in 2007 and now uses her extensive knowledge and growing following to increase health awareness in a fun and viral way. She is the founder of The Gyneco-blogic and an author of numerous books for adult and childhood health education and social growth. For more, check me, I mean her out at dreverywoman.com

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