Recognising this, the Australian government recently announced special provisions for parents of newborns to be bulk-billed when consulting a doctor or nurse via phone or videocall rather than in person.
There are also things you can do to help keep your baby healthy so they don’t need medical treatment. By protecting them, you also protect the people around them who may be more vulnerable to serious illness from the coronavirus.
Think about hygiene
The first thing you can do is to practice good hygiene yourself. This includes frequently washing your hands, avoiding close contact with other people as much as you can, coughing or sneezing into your bent elbow or a tissue, and avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
Because babies put their hands in their mouths no matter what, frequently washing their face and hands and cleaning surfaces and objects they might touch will help protect them from any infection.
How about daycare?
It will come as no surprise to most parents that babies who attend daycare are sick more often.
That’s because babies and small children have an immature immune system, are in very close contact with one another, and may end up sharing saliva with one another by mouthing and touching one another and the same toys.
So, if you can, keep your baby away from daycare. However, if you need to use it, when you pick up your baby from daycare, wash their hands and face, change their clothes, then wash your own hands, before scooping them into that big, warm hug.
Breast milk contains many ingredients to help prevent and fight infection. It is recommended babies be fed only breast milk until they are six months old and continue breastfeeding with other foods into their second year of life.
If your baby is under six months and breastfeeding, offering them only breast milk protects them from a range of infections and reduces their need for medical treatment or hospitalisation.
If your baby is breastfeeding and using formula, consider replacing formula feeds with breastfeeds.
If you have stopped breastfeeding altogether, it is possible to start breastfeeding again if you want to (contact the national Breastfeeding Helpline for assistance).
If you have an older baby or toddler who is still breastfeeding, keeping breastfeeding will help protect them from other illnesses until after the coronavirus pandemic has passed.
If you’re using formula
It is easy to accidentally introduce germs into bottles while you’re preparing infant formula. So, because medical care may be hard to access, it is worth taking extra care to prevent this.
Remember to cool down the bottle in the fridge, give it a gentle shake, and check it’s not too hot before giving it to your baby.
Shop for supplies, such as nappies
Supply chains may be disrupted if lots of people get ill. And you may not be able to shop if you need to self-isolate at home.
Wearing a mask when you are with your baby (including during feeding), washing hands before and after contact with your baby, and cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and any feeding equipment will help prevent your baby catching the virus from you.
Eden Rise Pharmasave Pharmacy
Shop 30, Eden Rise Shopping Centre
cnr O'Shea Rd & Clyde Rd Berwick VIC 3806
(03) 8794 7920
Monday to Friday 9am to 9pm
Saturday 9am to 6pm
Sunday 9am to 6pm
Public Holidays as signposted