COVID-19 and your new baby
Important information about COVID-19 and your new baby
Congratulations on your new arrival! We know a lot of Traveller women are very worried about themselves and their babies during this time. It’s really important that we get the right information. Tracey and Winnie go through some of your key questions and give accurate information about COVID-19 and your new baby.
How to keep yourself and your baby safe from COVID-19
If you or your baby has COVID-19
Click on this leaflet for more information.
COVID-19 and newborns: The facts
Is my baby at a higher risk of getting COVID-19?
It is rare for babies to get COVID-19. If you and your baby are healthy, they are not at a higher risk of getting COVID-19. Babies don’t get very sick with the virus, but they can spread it to other people.
The COVID-19 vaccine gives the best protection from serious sickness. The HSE recommends that babies over 6 months now get the COVID-19 vaccine also. Talk to your doctor for more information.
What are the signs and symptoms of COVID-19?
- high temperature (38 degrees Celsius of higher)
- new constant cough
- breathing problems
- loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
If you have symptoms call your GP right away.
What symptoms should I watch out for in my baby?
Call your GP straight away if your baby:
- is under 3 months old and has a high temperature (38 degrees Celsius of higher)
- is pale and their skin is cold
- has breathing problems
- doesn’t respond to you or does not seem their usual self
- is going blue round the lips
- has a fit or seizure
- has a rash
What do I do if we have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19?
Phone your GP straight away. You and your baby will need to restrict your movements until you can talk to your GP.
How do I keep my baby and myself safe from COVID-19?
- Get the COVID-19 vaccine. If your baby is over 6 months, talk to your doctor about them getting the COVID-19 vaccine.
- Wash your hands often. Wash your baby’s hands often too with soap and water. Don’t use hand gel on their hands.
- Wear a face mask if you feel sick or are coughing or sneezing
- Don’t touch your face with your hands.
- Cover your mouth with a clean tissue when you’re coughing or sneezing. Cough or sneeze into your elbow if you don’t have a tissue.
Can I have visitors after the baby comes home?
Follow the latest government advice on visitors to your home. Not everyone shows signs or symptoms of COVID-19.
What about the baptism?
Talk to your Priest about baptising your baby. For more information you can also call the Parish of the Travelling People: 01 838 8874.
Can I go for walks?
Fresh air and exercise is good for you during this time.
If you or your baby has COVID-19
What will happen if I have COVID-19?
You will need to self-isolate if you have COVID-19. This means:
- Stay at home
- No visitors
- Keep 6 feet apart from other people in your home
- Wear a mask when you are near other people in your home
- Stay in a separate room with the window open if you can
- Don’t share food, plates, drinking glasses, knives, forks, spoons, towels, dishcloths and bedding with other people. Wash these items well with soap and hot water after you use them
When can I stop self-isolating?
Only stop self-isolating when:
- you have had no fever for 5 days and
- it has been 10 days since you first had symptoms
Ask your GP or public health nurse for more information.
What if I can’t self-isolate?
If you need support to safely self-isolate, contact your:
- Local Authority
- Local Traveller organisation
- Traveller Primary Health Care Project/Traveller Health Unit
What if I have COVID-19 but my baby doesn’t?
If you want to keep looking after your baby, you should:
- Wash your hands with soap and water or hand sanitiser before and after feeding, bathing and cuddling your baby
- Wash your hands after changing their nappy
- Wear a mask when you are around your baby
- Don’t cough or sneeze around your baby
- Don’t be kissing your baby on the face
How should I feed my baby if I have COVID-19 or symptoms of the virus?
Breastmilk is the best milk for your baby. It is safe to keep breastfeeding. To prevent passing the virus on to your baby while breastfeeding:
- Wash your hands before touching your baby
- Wear a mask
- Sterilise any breast pump or bottles
If you are bottle-feeding, keep sterilising the bottles. Wash your hands before and after you feed your baby.
How will my baby be tested for COVID-19?
Your GP will organise a test for you and your baby if needed. If your baby needs to be tested, the tester will place a cotton bud inside both nostrils to get a sample. For children under the age of two, the swab will only go 1cm deep. The test is easy and quick.
What happens if my baby has COVID-19?
If your baby tests positive for COVID-19 you will need to self-isolate them. You will need to wear a face covering when you are with them. Make sure to wash your hands before and after touching your baby.
What should I do if my baby isn’t getting any better?
If your baby has COVID-19, call your GP right away if:
- they have a high temperature (38 degrees Celsius or higher)
- they have a rash
- they are getting sicker
- they have swelling in their hands and feet – the skin looks red and hard
- their lips, mouth and tongue are dry, cracked, swollen or bleeding
- they have swelling around their eyes or redness in the whites of their eyes