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Cold and Flu season with our new babes

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

Is anyone else concerned about this?  I think it's popped up on a few threads here and there, but now that C&F season is really here I'm starting to get more worried.  I also had influenza B last year and WOW you guys, I thought I was dying, truly.  I'm not a drama queen when I'm sick but the flu is NO JOKE.  I laid in bed convulsing and passing out for a week.  Couldn't take care of myself, I could hardly eat.  My DH was so worried about me!  I don't like the idea of flu shots and obviously the baby can't get one, so it's a huge concern, of course.  

I've been getting sick (just minor colds/ sinus infections) since the colder weather hit.  I've had two so far, just in three weeks.  It is making me really nervous for when the baby is here!   I think I am extra worried about it because my husband works in retail so it seems like someone is always sick around him.  My mom is a nurse and she'll be visiting in mid-Dec and not only is she ALWAYS sick (nasty stuff like bronchitis) I worry about her carrying stuff from the hospital.  Who knows what she could have in mid-Dec!  Also, my FIL is a nurse as well and the in-laws will all be travelling here in mid-January, on a plane no less.  Plane germs- YUCK!  Right at the height of cold and flu season.  OMG.  

 

I'm such a germaphobe, so it really stresses me out.  Besides breastfeeding and washing hands, etc, how is everyone going to deal with this?  I want to keep sick people away from baby, but what if my mom is sick when she comes up to visit for the week?  She can't reschedule, and I can't just say "don't hold the baby" you know?  

UGH.

post #2 of 24

I'm a complete germaphobe too, J. eyesroll.gif  I was sick so much as a kid, I was administered antibiotics like candy and now I have recurring sinus infections multiple times a year that are hard to treat... My immune and digestive systems are screwed up because of it. I've been worrying about C&F season approaching too. My parents are the types who might not admit to being sick if they came to visit the baby because they'd want to see her and think it's no big deal... and that lack of trust in their honesty freaks me out. I went to their house after my baby shower last week and my 4-year-old nephew was there and horribly sick. He was flat out coughing in everyone's faces, I mean just completely uncovered, walking up to people and coughing his lungs out. My sister (his mom) didn't even attempt to keep him from anyone. Nobody even thought to themselves -- Maybe we shouldn't have the sick kid around a pregnant woman? UGH! I said to my dad, "Look, I'm pregnant and going to be having the baby soon, the last thing I need is to get sick..." and he was like, "Oh I don't think it's a big deal, probably just a little bronchitis. We're giving him something for his fever." My dad is a freakin' doctor! And he still just didn't think twice about putting me in that compromising situation. Luckily I didn't get sick (yet eyesroll.gif) but my mom was really sick the next day. That's all just one example of how negligent my family will be about illness around the baby... I won't even get into the fights I've had with them about my nephew's prior MRSA and impetigo diagnoses and how melodramatic they think I am about protecting me and my baby from it. UGH!

 

Is it rude to tell everyone who is going to hold the baby to wash their hands first? I hope my mom doesn't make me feel stupid for being so protective of my baby in that regard. I'm liable to snap on her and tell her to just leave if she upsets me.

 

My bigger concern actually is how to protect my baby during the holiday family functions. My in-laws are already planning a huge family Thanksgiving at their house, and my DH is expecting us to go there even though I'm due the week before. I'm not comfortable having a newborn around that many people at just a week or two old (if she even comes on time). Is that irrational of me? Should I not worry and just bring her around everyone? Christmas is going to be the same way. Both of our families have big get-togethers...

 

I really hope I end up not being as possessive and protective of my baby as I'm already worrying I'll be in the beginning. Right now, I feel like I'm not going to want anyone but DH and I holding her in the beginning. I feel like I'm not going to trust anyone with her! greensad.gif Did anyone else feel like that before their first baby arrived?

post #3 of 24

This terrifies me! I'm also worried about the fact that I will be going back to work before Christmas and I work in retail as well (in a toy store no less), so I will constantly be surrounded by children and adults that are likely to be carrying something or another. :( My parents will also be coming down for Thanksgiving (for two weeks). I'm a little worried about my dad potentially being sick at that time as he works in a school... Luckily his job doesn't actually deal one-on-one with kids so hopefully he will be fine.... 

 

I don't think it's terribly rude to ask people to wash their hands before allowing them to hold your baby, but it's impossible to keep them from touching the baby when the baby is in your arms... Everyone wants to kiss and touch a new baby. :-/ Keep antibac around the house in easy access so that people will be tempted to use it! :)

post #4 of 24
Thread Starter 

Ugh- my family thinks it's no big deal, too.  When I was pregnant with DS1 they brought my niece and nephew over when they both had Staph infections.  Awesome, thanks guys!  irked.gif

We had a hand-washing rule with DS1- we had a welcome baby shower when he was just 8 days old, so I was very protective. If i had it to do over I would have had him in the sling the whole time and just let people peek at him, lol!  Even then, people want to put their hands all over baby's face, so you could have a rule about "just touching toes", you know?  Like don't let people touch or kiss her face or hands.  

 

So at T-giving, if you go, I'd sling the baby and nurse her and just keep her all cuddled up next to you.  No "pass the baby".  You'll be able to use the "she's sleeping" or "she's hungry" excuse a lot.  If she's here by then ;-)


I'm very protective of my babies, too.  I thought maybe I was just a little sensitive about it with DS1 because he was my first, but I am going to be just as protective this time.... I don't worry so much about common colds and such but flu? RSV? Bronchitis?  Lord only knows what there could be on the plane.... I really don't want to get baby sick with something like that, especially when he's so young that there's nothing we could do to take care of it.  I think being exposed to some germs is fine, especially since I'll be nursing, but it's also not so crazy to want to protect baby from influenza and such.  They have special warnings about very young children and those diseases for a reason....

 

Don't use antibacterial soap, though, or purell or anything like that.  Just a good soap will do, and purell/hand sanitizers have toxic fumes.  Ugh.    We do have a natural hand-san for outside the house though when we can't get to a sink.  BabyGanics is the brand.

 

I think I might warn our parents beforehand that if they are sick, they won't be able to cuddle and kiss the baby.  And we could try to suggest some preventative measures- emergen-c, airborne, lots of rest, etc.  So hopefully they will be able to avoid getting sick in the first place.... we'll see.  

 

 

Like I said, I was very protective of my first son.... even without the illness factor I just didn't want people holding him the first week or two.  I think I was more protective than I thought I would be- the mama bear instincts really kicked in once I saw his face :-)  There's all the hormones and such too, so you may actually be MORE protective than you think you'll be ;-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by birdhappy85 View Post

 

Is it rude to tell everyone who is going to hold the baby to wash their hands first? I hope my mom doesn't make me feel stupid for being so protective of my baby in that regard. I'm liable to snap on her and tell her to just leave if she upsets me.

 

My bigger concern actually is how to protect my baby during the holiday family functions. My in-laws are already planning a huge family Thanksgiving at their house, and my DH is expecting us to go there even though I'm due the week before. I'm not comfortable having a newborn around that many people at just a week or two old (if she even comes on time). Is that irrational of me? Should I not worry and just bring her around everyone? Christmas is going to be the same way. Both of our families have big get-togethers...

 

I really hope I end up not being as possessive and protective of my baby as I'm already worrying I'll be in the beginning. Right now, I feel like I'm not going to want anyone but DH and I holding her in the beginning. I feel like I'm not going to trust anyone with her! greensad.gif Did anyone else feel like that before their first baby arrived?


 

 

post #5 of 24
I'm not especially germophobIc. I have certainly thought about cold season. We are hosting thanksgiving about 2 weeks after my due date. Then we will also be seeing family for Christmas and Hannukah. And of course, we are expecting company after the birth.

I'm planning on lots of Hand washing and nursing. I will keep sanitizer in my pocket for anyone who wants to hold the baby. I will allow family to hold the baby if they're not visibly sick but the baby will be slung at the holidays. I also hand them off with the warning that the baby isn't wearing a diaper so give her back if she fusses at all.
post #6 of 24

I'm really worried about it. I've had a baby in November before and I just kept him in the sling all the time and that's what I think I will do. If this kid gets any kind of sick it could delay his lip repair surgery by months and months! We don't want that. I will be a crazy hermit person but I will still be sending all my other boys out into the world to school so we'll just do our best.

post #7 of 24

Not particularly germophobic. I do plan on making this: http://wellnessmama.com/1888/how-to-make-elderberry-syrup-for-flu-prevention/ and the whole family will take it daily (except the baby, course!). Reminds me.. I gotta get ON that! I've just been balking at the price of shipping the berries :/ I plan on getting 8oz and shipping is more than the product! So I've been dragging my feet looking for either a local source, or if there were people who wanted to go in on a group bulk buy, but they kinda don't.. so I think I need to just suck it up and buy it. Its just like $12 (total, shipped) so its not like it'll kill us, I just hate shipping costs! Not terribly worried about other family members. Honestly this is the 17th grandchild on my side of the family so babies aren't particularly new and exciting where everyone is tripping over themselves to get some snuggles in. People like holding babies, totally, and if I need to use the bathroom hands free, or eat with 2 hands, there will be PLENTY of volunteers :) but when all the aunts and uncles have 4-5 kids their own, the novelty of someone else's baby isn't totally there. And I think my family generally has a decent balance of laid back about germs (no one will have sanitizer in their pocket) and being considerate about spreading their cooties if they DO get sick. The two people who are most eager to hold new babies, my mom and my brother (the one who only has ONE kid.. hahaha) are actually the most fanatical about health/nutrition. I'm not even kidding.. I'd rank them in the top .5% of nutrition obsessed in like.. the world. It'd take a mac truck to take either of 'em down. Its funny to hear my mom talk about "that one time she had a cold"... 15 years ago. 

post #8 of 24

I must be the odd man out.  I really don't worry about getting sick.  Although I think I have a pretty awesome immune system, so maybe that is why I don't worry, I don't GET that sick.  For that same reason, I figure if we are breastfeeding, we are good.

post #9 of 24

I'm not a huge germaphobe, and honestly, we live in a pretty temperate climate, so we don't deal with this as bad. We're not stuck inside in the re-circulated air all winter, that's the summer for us! We are actually able to get out and get fresh air in the winter, so we tend to stay sicker in the summer here. We also don't have any family nearby, so no big holiday parties for us. We'll probably just avoid crowded places, keep visibly sick people away from the baby, and keep him in the sling 99% of the time.

post #10 of 24
Thread Starter 


Lucky!

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by meesh933 View Post

I'm not a huge germaphobe, and honestly, we live in a pretty temperate climate, so we don't deal with this as bad. We're not stuck inside in the re-circulated air all winter, that's the summer for us! We are actually able to get out and get fresh air in the winter, so we tend to stay sicker in the summer here. We also don't have any family nearby, so no big holiday parties for us. We'll probably just avoid crowded places, keep visibly sick people away from the baby, and keep him in the sling 99% of the time.



 

post #11 of 24

I haven't considered this much. I remember worrying about it with dd2, who was due Nov 6. My mom was (well, still is) an elementary teacher and was always sick. She had some weird thing then, and I was worried about her holding the baby. I think I just had her wash her hands well.

 

One thing I have going is a small family. So we don't have a lot of big gatherings to go to. Really, though, I'm not sure how much I can prevent any illness from happening with two kids in elementary school and one in high school. That's a lot of germs!

 

Oh, J I had that flu last year, too. I missed an entire week of work. I had to have dd1 and dd2 stay with their dad, and of course dh was not in town. So I was by myself and totally miserable. Hoping to avoid that this year!

post #12 of 24
I'm not worried about it.
post #13 of 24

I've though about this but I'm not extremely worried.  Last time DD was born in Feb and the only times she got sick was when she went to daycare, but if she was just around family or went with me to the store she would not get sick.  I also was a nursing student through the fall and winter months last year and I never did get sick as I expected to.  No I didnt have a flu shot, I dont believe they are even effective.

I second the suggestion to keep baby in a carrier.  I am using a sling and a Moby, I will see which I prefer when the time comes.  But this is a perfect excuse for no one to hold baby.  "He's sleeping, sorry."  or "I need to nurse him"  lol.  And no I would not let people touch the baby without washing their hands or using sanitizer!  If you did not want to go to a family function you could always fake an illness too! 

The babyganics hand sanitizer looks a little toxic to me, I looked up the ingredients on ewg's skin deep site and of course there are data gaps, not enough studies have been done on them, but the active ingredient is pretty toxic including its fumes:(  I have been looking for a natural hand sanitizer too!

 

birdhappy85 have you tried taking probiotics?  I have heard lots of people having success with them after being damaged by overuse of antibiotics.

post #14 of 24

Forgot to add that having the rest of the family take probiotics, using garlic in your cooking, and giving everyone manuka honey might help keep illness away as well.  And of course breastfeeding breastfeeding breastfeeding!

post #15 of 24

I'm another that doesn't worry about this at all.  We eat a very healthy diet, take high quality supplements (probiotics, krill oil, vit d3, chlorella, multi) and of course, breastfeed and baby-wear.  It seems to me that all of my germaphobic friends get sick just as often (or more often) than I do anyway.  Why worry about something that can't really be prevented?  My school-aged DS tends to get sick the most, but often doesn't spread it to the rest of the family. 

post #16 of 24
Thread Starter 

I'm totally paranoid (way too many microbiology courses in college!)  redface.gif  We eat well too, we're vegetarians and take all sorts of supplements, but I still worry.  I think it's because we still always get sick on planes, my mom is always super sick, and I think it can be prevented if proper precautions are taken (hand washing, low contact, etc.)  My DS really did get sick a lot less than a lot of folks we know (who are less anal about it) so  shrug.gif  .... Now that he's 2.5 we worry less about it, of course, since he's doing things like eating dirt and such eyesroll.gif  but newborns are especially at risk for something like influenza. 

post #17 of 24

I wasn't particularly worried about sickness with my first couple of babies...until my third child at 3 weeks old came down with a 102 fever and had to have a spinal tap, multiple blood draws, catheterized for urine, and IV antibiotics for 48 hours (with a blown IV in there to boot). Now THAT experience has made me a total raving mad germaphobe when it comes to newborns. And this was my July baby. I don't plan on taking my kids to pretty much any place that isn't required for the first month or so after we have the new baby. Not even church! We are homeschoolers so that's a little more feasible for us than for a lot of families.  I'm not so freaked out after my babies get a little bigger, colds are just a sad fact of winter and regular life. I totally agree with all the advice about keeping your baby in a sling in public. It definitely puts a little bit of distance between other people's germs and your little one. No one, not even most grandmas, would request to hold a baby who is sleeping soundly in the sling :)

post #18 of 24

I'm not worried. I plan on doing what I can to boost the rest of the family's immune systems and then just breastfeeding and slinging the baby (and obviously, if I know someone is sick, I'll avoid having them in our faces). Immune systems need to be exposed to some germs to grow and adapt!

post #19 of 24

I am worried about it - and I didn't even think about plane germs. Ew. My mom is going to come, on a plane, two weeks after the baby is born (when DH goes back to work) and then the in-laws are going to come at Christmas-time. And many illnesses are most contagious during the incubation period, before someone becomes symptomatic. 

 

As far as getting sick myself - I'm not very worried. Anything I get before baby will just have the benefit of passing the antibodies onto the little one through breastfeeding. With DD I got sick a few times and she either never got sick at all, or had a totally mild version of what I had. 

 

I think it's just fine to ask people to wash their hands before touching a newborn. With DD it was often the second or third thing I said to visitors "Hi, come on in! How's it going? Can you please wash your hands first thing?" 

 

I am planning to stay in more than usual, but for my own sanity, and DDs, we are going to have to go out sometimes. I am totally torn about whether or not to go to a playgroup that happens three times a week at the community centre down the street - since DD isn't in daycare or preschool, this is where she does much of her socializing, and on rainy days it's a great place for her to run and jump around and burn off some energy. And Vancouver has mostly rainy days in the winter! Those kinds of places are just as germy as daycare or school, but I can't see how we'll make it through the winter without it. Playdates here, I suppose.

 

DD and I had so many illnesses last winter, one right after the other, that I am quite nervous. Especially bad was how we got a stomach bug TWICE in 6 weeks. I can't imagine having a stomach bug and trying to nurse a brand new baby. I was so dehydrated. Shudder. And DD always got them first, then me, so it was clearly from the places we were going and the toys she was touching. Just talking about it makes me more resolved to hermitize for Nov, Dec and Jan. 

post #20 of 24

I've had two winter babies and that first winter there were no issues.  It's the next winter when we are always hit hard.  HARD.  We get sick about 8-10 times from later fall to early spring.  It's horrible.  But one of the peds I had told me that 8 illnesses per year is average for young kids and we rarely get sick outside of that winter time frame.  Of course, we have also moved all over the country- literally.  West coast, southwest, south, east coast, and now midwest.  So we pick up all the new germs every couple of years.  My new ped said we should have super immunity soon and I'm hoping he is right b/c I have come to HATE winter.  Illness has sucked the life out of the holidays for years now.  I figure in another two years we'll be able to cash in on the immunity.  FX.

 

At any rate some things I have found to help lessen the frequency and severity of illnesses are mega doses of vitamin C in the form of sodium ascorbate daily, elder berry syrup, vitamin D, and probiotics.  Hand washing is essential every time you visit somewhere public and I carry sanitizer for times when hand washing can't happen.  Wiping down counter tops and doorknobs with TTO or Thyme is a good habit to get into as well.  We also don't take baby out in super crowded areas for the first couple of months and baby stays in a carrier when we do go out.  But honestly I think the number one thing to prevent and lessen severity of illness is SLEEP.  It's not really something we as mothers have a whole lot of control over, but I know that when I can actually get decent sleep or take naps when sick that I get better quicker or can prevent getting an illness that both my kids have.  There really is not a substitute for sleep, unfortunately. 

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