How will you handle visitors/ people who are sick? — The Bump
3rd Trimester

How will you handle visitors/ people who are sick?

My sister-in-law is due this week and was complaining to me about her sick aunt coming to the hospital. This got me to thinking about how you handle visitors who have shown up after the warning of "please don't come if you're sick".

I'm also thinking about how my mom hasn't gotten the tdap vaccine but my mother in law, of all unhelpful people, has. I also have a few friends who want to babysit but that I know don't have the tdap. What's the etiquette for this stuff?

Re: How will you handle visitors/ people who are sick?

  • I'm not sure on the "etiquette" of it, but I've told everybody that if they are sick, they will be asked to leave (unless it's something non contagious such as allergies) and they're free to drop by after they've been symptom free for a few days. Most people understand that the health of the baby comes first.
    As far as the tdap, I didn't even know that was a thing until a friend of mine mentioned it while she was pregnant last summer. But most of the people I know are up to date on everything since a lot of them work in healthcare or have small children. But your mom should definitely get a booster since she'll be around a lot. Maybe mention that you had to have your shot and ask if she's been brought up to date also? Lots of pharmacies offer the vaccine on a walk in basis.
  • We tell people don't come if sick and they need to wash hands with soap and water before holding baby. I would never get into vaccination status with someone. If you look into how illnesses are transmitted, not coughing, sneezing, or snotting on baby and having clean hands should be quite ample without getting into highly personal health history questions. If it is of comfort, just remember that non-first babies have to live with precious germ-bomb siblings all around them, touching, coughing, etc. The idea of a sanitized existence for baby just isn't the reality for most newborns. That said, just because someone comes over doesn't mean you have to let them hold baby. If you have a concern about someone in those first most vulnerable days, you could keep baby in a carrier on you, hold baby for nap, feed baby, etc. While holding newborns is delightful, outside of the closest of the close people, I think that most folks aren't shocked to get a "maybe next time" about holding.
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  • The hospital usually won't let sick people in to visit. You can always let your nurses know you don't want visitors and they will keep them out.
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