Coronavirus: Delivering A Newborn In Lockdown

This is a time where you and everybody else, worldwide, are avoiding contact with another human being. These measures, termed social distancing, are preventive in the fight against a global pandemic, COVID-19. In a nutshell, all manner of non-essential businesses have to be shut and every person is ordered to stay, work and be confined at home. These measures can indeed be stressful, especially households with a newborn. Worldwide, there have been articles and reports of rising issues for households with newborns in quarantine. So far in Malaysia, more than a hundred thousand babies were recorded to be born this year alone. Elsewhere, like in England, around 76,000 were born. And in Indonesia almost half a million more babies than usual are expected to be born. For all these families with a newborn during lockdown, even simple postnatal care and household related matters could balloon, causing unanticipated stress.

newborn; a persons hands holding the tender legs of a newborn
No thanks to COVID-19! Having to stay away from other humans other than your own family with a newborn can be very lonely and stressful. You definitely need some help: physically, emotionally or otherwise.
Image by freepik.diller from Freepik

No One Near You To Help With Your Newborn

There was one major social issue that blew-up immediately after authorities enforced social distancing rules and regulations. The total absence of any extra pair of hands for help. Hired or otherwise. This absence is made worse for parents with newborns especially during the critical first few months. From confinement ladies, masseuses, daily cleaners, to any help of all manners could not be available at all. There is essentially no one to turn to for help from the outside.

Hence a lot of postnatal issues become more intense at home. The sleepless days and nights, bathing and handling of the baby, extra laundry and heavy cleaning, etc. become overbearing. Moreover, other household responsibilities have to be taken into consideration too. Ageing parents, special needs children or adults, attending to the needs to older children. Moving forward, parents, businesses and the community could seriously look into dealing with this issue. Perhaps fathers, siblings and immediate family members living in the same household could upskill themselves with practical skills in managing newborns.

washing machine with a wet towel protruding from it.
Basic and regular chores around the house as well as work related matters become more intense without an extra pair of hands to help.
Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

Familial Support With And For A Newborn

With the arrival of a newborn, friends and family become the much-needed support system in all aspects. Physical help, emotional support and even favours. However, the whole point of social distancing is to stay physically away from another human so as not to spread the virus. As such, this support system crumbles. In fact, some authorities went as far as to ban overnight stays and deploying special police personnel to make surprise visits to homes. This is to ensure everybody is complying with the social distancing order. This leaves very little to no room for family, friends and hired help to assist during delivery and confinement period.

The Risk Of Navigating Through Hospitals With A Newborn

Most hospitals, healthcare institutions and insurance systems are now in a state of chaos. This is due to them dealing with the aftermath of the pandemic while still frantically battling an unseen enemy. Healthcare representatives and hospital staff work round-the-clock to handle pandemic patients. Hence, they resemble zombies with their other-worldly hygiene suits (or termed PPE) and exhausted demeanour. Complex forms and procedures, multi-coloured signage of all manners, stricter rules and regulations, cordoned off hallways, entrances, counters and even windows all add to the containment of the pandemic. Through these mazes, newborns still require their regular visits to their doctors, check-ups, vaccines and so on.

Unless for life-threatening emergencies, poeple are avoiding the hospitals and clinics at all cost. As these are the most high-risk places for anyone to contract the virus. Likewise, any nursing mother would do the same to prevent herself and her newborn from getting infected, and spreading the virus to other loved ones at home. Nevertheless, there are plenty of support services set up to help patients with non-pandemic issues. There are helplines, video calls or appointments, extra staff on hand to expedite the treatment process from start to finish.

blurred image of a nurse handing over masks and hand sanitizer
Because of the influx of patients due to the pandemic, hospitals, health providers and insurance companies have become incredibly tough to navigate around.
Image by Prostooleh from Freepik

Attack On Mental And Emotional Health During Lockdown

With all of the above, one of the most unanticipated things is how much the lockdown has impacted our mental and emotional health. Malaysian newspaper, The Star reported that 46.8% from the whopping 8,300 calls for assistance about the pandemic to the national help hotline were about emotional problems. Stress, anxiety, anger, boredom are just to name a few. A majority of the issues stem from misunderstanding among family members, lack of income and work-related problems.

Emotional wellbeing of each and every family member is important so everybody can attend to other matters; personal, professional, familial, social or others.

Getting Help As Soon As You Can

In light of the foregoing issues during a lockdown, what we need is a full-service mother and baby residence. Where there is room for the whole family to live in (yes, including the father and siblings), stay around and even work. Where there are postnatal services readily available for them to learn and be proactive, ample opportunities for them to take charge of welcoming and managing the newborn and mother. The multi-dimensional support immediate family members provide can work wonders in the happiness scale for a family.

One of the few things parents expecting newborns in the coming days, weeks or months, could do once the stay-home order lifts is to take up residence at a full-service confinement care centre. These centres provide whole day, seven days a week care with a variety of help depending on the centre. Nurses, baby care specialists, breastfeeding consultants, paediatricians and even birth specialists or doulas.

From Young Parents To Entrepreneurs

newborn' a professional nurse takes the blood pressure of a mother while the mother cradles her baby. they are both seated on a bed.
Even though doing things all by ourselves is empowering and the more responsible thing to do, sometimes getting some help can do wonders for overall family wellbeing.
Image by Twin C Postnatal Consultancy & Care

The establishment Twin C Postnatal Consultancy & Care is such a place. Parents can stay there for a day up to however many days it takes for the mother and baby to feel better and stronger. They even have rooms for the fathers and siblings to stay in, stick around and even work.

Twin C is the brainchild of a modest young husband and wife who had twins a few years ago. What compelled them to embark on this service was due to the fact that they personally faced challenges and limitations from postnatal care service providers. The providers failed to meet their expectations. As new parents to not one but twin newborns, their responsibilities and burdens too, doubled. From this experience, they started to carve a unique approach to postnatal and postpartum care using tested and proven methods. Since Twin C’s inception in the end of 2018, more parents are now buying into their wholesome approach.

newborn; Fully furnished living room with sofa, fan, coffee table, chair and pillows.
Ample yet private room at confinement centres for father and siblings to stay and proactively help the mother is a great way to help families stay connected.
Image by Twin C Postnatal Consultancy & Care

Planning Ahead In Welcoming A Newborn Post-COVID-19

There are good ways to survive any lockdown or social conditions. Getting the right kind of help, upskilling where necessary, caring for the mind as well as the body are just a few. Parents cannot be too lackadaisical in manner and thinking. These severe social distancing and pandemic prevention measures will likely recur. It could be in the not-so-distant future.

For more information on how you can plan ahead for your forthcoming newborn, why not reach out to Twin C for a free consultation today? Call +6016 505 9869, visit their website or official Facebook page for details.

Parents can also explore various skills to work on. For new mothers, breastfeeding is a great life changing skill to master. Do both you and your spouse look for more positive breastfeeding spaces? If so, do follow us as we dive deeper into this topic in the next article.

About Rachel PUNITHA

Lecturer turned writer, Rachel is a romantic at heart, with words that is... She's into a host of topics, which include family culture, mental & emotional health, and especially the boring subjects like money management and retirement planning.

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