Best friend traveling back from India, worried about health risks - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 16 Old 01-02-2012, 08:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So my best friend left today for India, and she's coming back around my due date. She got a bunch of shots and took some medications, but I know that many Americans have a tendency to get sick when they travel to certain places. I'm wondering if any of you know of the risks that are involved with letting her visit with the baby after she is born. Are their latent illnesses that she could carry back from India that could harm the baby? Is there a certain amount of time I should "quarantine" her from the baby? I don't plan on having visitors for at least a few days after the baby's born, but I'm a little concerned about my friend bringing back some sort of illness that we aren't immune to, let alone a newborn, and as much as I'd love for my friend to meet the baby, part of me wants to keep her away for awhile.


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#2 of 16 Old 01-03-2012, 08:59 AM
 
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hey demoon- i have no specific advice or insight into this, but i wanted to let you know this is on my mind, and that it would really concern me, too.  i understand your worries, and i think i'd feel the same way.  i hope someone around here has something helpful to contribute!

 

the only thing that i can think of is to go poke around over on the vaccinations board- while i know it's not the very same topic, some of the issues at play are the same- you don't want your baby exposed to something that could make her sick, that doesn't typically circulate around here in the USA.  if it's any comfort to you, i know that there are families that travel abroad with unvaxxed kids, and they do just fine.  (yes, i know it's different when you're talking about a newborn).

 

i hope your friend has a nice stay in india, and that you're able to make peace with some kind of decision! hug.gif


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#3 of 16 Old 01-03-2012, 01:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Aww thanks for the kind words and support!

 

I did a little bit of research on traveling to India in general, and they suggest that you get your vaccines 4-6 weeks *before* going to India. She--being the free-spirited, spontaneous person that she is--got hers a week before she left (this trip was offered up to her at the last minute and she jumped on it). irked.gif Grrr!

 

I asked my back-up midwife about it today (I have a homebirth midwife who I love, and then a backup who does hospital births who I'm not the fondest of but I continue going to her in case we need to transfer). She didn't really know what to say other than to not let her get too close to the baby for a while just in case there is something airborne. And while I still plan on asking my homebirth midwife about it (and possibly my pediatrician if I get to meet her anytime soon), I'm sure most people wouldn't know what to say because it's a unique scenario. I'm trying not to get too worried about it because if there were any sort of serious illnesses spreading from one country to another, I think we would hear about it. But again...it's much, much more concerning when your talking about a newborn, especially one that I don't really want to vaccinate. shrug.gif


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#4 of 16 Old 01-03-2012, 05:42 PM
 
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As someone that has kids and did a fair amount of traveling to third world countries I'll just say that this would be so far down on my radar that I wouldn't even know to worry about it.  And I'm not a germ-phobe.  At all.

 

IMO, *EVERY*body that holds your newborn for the first week (if that) should wash their hands first.  Most contagion is cleared by that alone.

 

Now, if you're worried about it, you're worried.  And that's valid.  But if you're just *considering* that it might be an issue I'd likely just ask friend to wash her hands and happily hand over your babe so you can take a shower in peace.


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#5 of 16 Old 01-03-2012, 06:39 PM
 
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I agree with AfricanQueen99.  I would never think to worry about it.  Hand washing for everyone is most important.  With the amount of international and domestic travel in the world today, anyone visiting the baby could be exposed to anything at any time....grocery store, hospital, post office, etc.  Just do what feels right for you and your family.  If it were my best friend, I wouldn't think twice about letting her come over.  Hopefully she has some common sense if she weren't feeling good or was obviously exposed to some disease.

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#6 of 16 Old 01-04-2012, 05:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, I got to talk to my homebirth midwife today, and she said that it was my choice, but that to ease my mind I should probably not let her come around for a week or two after baby's born in case she gets some sort of illness like a flu or something on the plane that she may be harboring but not showing any signs of (she was more concerned with her being on a plane for 15 hours than being in India). Luckily, my best friend is not the "baby" type who I would "hand my baby over" to. In fact, babies freak her out a little. She can't handle any birth videos, and even gets grossed out like a little kid when she feels the baby in my belly. I think she'll be holding her breath for the baby to become a kid that she can have conversations with. lol.gif


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#7 of 16 Old 01-04-2012, 05:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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And yes, she did suggest hand washing and covering people's clothes with blankets when anyone holds the baby. It's one of those things where I already feel funny about healthy people holding my baby, let alone someone who's sick, so I'm probably just looking for reasons to not let people come around. Definitely got the mama bear syndrome going already!


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#8 of 16 Old 01-04-2012, 05:41 AM
 
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She suggested having people cover their clothes?  Really?!  That seems...odd.


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#9 of 16 Old 01-04-2012, 09:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AfricanQueen99 View Post

She suggested having people cover their clothes?  Really?!  That seems...odd.



If it makes me feel better, yes. Calm down. She's not some crazy germaphobe. She's just doing what she needs to do to make me feel at ease. Like I said, I'm still trying to grasp this whole "letting other people touch my baby" thing. winky.gif


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#10 of 16 Old 01-04-2012, 10:53 PM
 
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I'm still trying to grasp this whole "letting other people touch my baby" thing. winky.gif


Ugh I'm trying not to think about that! At least we live far away from most people so it will take them at least a few days to get here! I'm really not looking forward to it, I don't know if I'll be able to be assertive enough to turn people down... probably will just seeth in a corner while they hold the baby... maybe the baby will just nurse the WHOLE time they visit!


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#11 of 16 Old 01-05-2012, 08:09 PM
 
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Ugh I'm trying not to think about that! At least we live far away from most people so it will take them at least a few days to get here! I'm really not looking forward to it, I don't know if I'll be able to be assertive enough to turn people down... probably will just seeth in a corner while they hold the baby... maybe the baby will just nurse the WHOLE time they visit!


I found that the best way to avoid people touching/holding the baby was to have him/her in a wrap or sling....especially in public!  At home, baby can nurse, sleep, etc and people will be so much less likely to ask to hold him/her since the baby is not easily accessible and is so content.   It worked pretty well for me, although I didn't have a huge problem with my family holding the baby. 

 

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#12 of 16 Old 01-05-2012, 08:25 PM
 
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I completely understand your worry and I am not a germaphobe.  At least not any longer.  But when my first was born, I was very worried to the point of paranoid about him getting sick.  Everyone had to wash their hands when they entered the house from the outside, whether or not they were planning on touching the baby.  I was really strict about it.  And it worked too.  No one in the family got even a cold that winter. 

 

Maybe just don't see her for a few weeks after she gets back.  Just say that you need time alone to bond with your baby.  This is what the germ phobia is really about at its core - you're not ready yet to give your baby up to the world's hands.  It's completely natural to want to keep your little one close for awhile after the birth.  Maybe it's just a time for family for awhile - not visitors, even when it's your best friend.

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#13 of 16 Old 01-06-2012, 10:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by cedarwoman View Post
I don't know if I'll be able to be assertive enough to turn people down...

 

Maybe you could talk this over with daddy & have him be your "spokesperson" to turn people down if you feel the need...create some sort of signal with him or something that way you're both on the same "team" and have a way of communicating when you're uncomfortable. This is what I plan on doing. Daddy can be the "bad guy"--I don't need the anxieties of handing over my baby *and* the guilt of turning people down.
 

 



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I found that the best way to avoid people touching/holding the baby was to have him/her in a wrap or sling....especially in public! 

 



This is a great idea!



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I completely understand your worry and I am not a germaphobe. 

 

Maybe just don't see her for a few weeks after she gets back.  Just say that you need time alone to bond with your baby.  This is what the germ phobia is really about at its core - you're not ready yet to give your baby up to the world's hands.  It's completely natural to want to keep your little one close for awhile after the birth.  Maybe it's just a time for family for awhile - not visitors, even when it's your best friend.


Thanks for the support. I think I'll do just that!

 


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#14 of 16 Old 01-06-2012, 11:30 AM
 
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I second the sling!  It worked great for me!  People just don't ask when baby is all comfy and cozy and not readily passable. 

 

Also, I think preemptively striking is a good idea, too.  :)  Begin the conversation with people that you are having anxieties concerning letting the baby being out in the world now. That way it doesn't come out of left field when you let people know about feeling uncomfortable passing the baby around.  Instead of surprising them, you can say...."yep, I feel just like I thought I would".  If you confide in people ahead of time about any worries you have, I think they take it less personally afterwards. 

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#15 of 16 Old 01-06-2012, 11:41 AM
 
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Ugh I'm trying not to think about that! At least we live far away from most people so it will take them at least a few days to get here! I'm really not looking forward to it, I don't know if I'll be able to be assertive enough to turn people down... probably will just seeth in a corner while they hold the baby... maybe the baby will just nurse the WHOLE time they visit!


Don't let it happen!  Find your voice!  I was afraid to hurt people's feelings and did just as you fear you will do..... and it has left many of my memories of my postpartum period marred with anxiety.  It also has left me with resentment towards the people who I felt animosity toward while they were holding my baby and I was seething on the couch.  Be honest and true to your feelings, even if it means your husband needs to meet people at the door and say.... "y'know, she having a hard time right now, PLEASE don't ask to hold the baby!".  You will feel so much better, trust me!

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#16 of 16 Old 01-06-2012, 12:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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 Be honest and true to your feelings, even if it means your husband needs to meet people at the door and say.... "y'know, she having a hard time right now, PLEASE don't ask to hold the baby!".  You will feel so much better, trust me!



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