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No visitors for newborns...

alli_esq

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 18, 2008
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909
Just curious...since I don't have children yet and I'm totally clueless when it comes to all things baby-and-child-development-related...

One of my best friends from childhood just had a baby a few weeks ago...I have been SO excited and anxious to meet the baby ever since my friend told me she was pregnant (in December)...and the day before she gave birth, I asked her if she wanted me to come to the hospital soon after the baby was born (she lives in the suburbs and I live in the city so I wanted to know if I should be planning a short trip in the near future). She said she absolutely wanted me there.

So, when she had the baby, I came the day after and saw the baby. They told me when I was on my way that the doctor said that if anyone wanted to hold the baby, they had to change out of the clothes they'd been wearing prior to coming to the hospital...I thought that was kind of odd, but my friend and her family are very...cautious/neurotic, so I figured I'd just hold off on holding the baby altogether for now, since they seemed so worried about it.

I tried to give my friend some space when she brought the baby home and I called her a couple of times with no response (she's got a newborn home, for crying out loud--I imagine she's PRETTY busy!!!) and then finally got in touch with her a week ago to see when/if I could come to visit and what I could do for her. She told me at that point that the doctor had been horrified that people had come to the hospital and that no one aside from immediate family (i.e., none of my friend's many aunts who live nearby) should see the baby until she is at least 6 weeks old.

Has anyone heard of this? The baby is healthy, there were no complications with her birth (unless you could having an epidural a complication--my friend and her mother were dead-set on doing it without drugs but she had back labor for like 16 hours and eventually she had to have an epidural...I didn't even know that was such a big deal!)...and she's healthy, aside from the fact that she hasn't really started to gain weight yet...
 

stephbolt

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Dec 11, 2008
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I don't work in the medical field at all, but this sounds pretty over the top. A good friend of mine had a baby less than two weeks ago. When her son was five days old, I went over to her house with seven other girlfriends and we passed the baby around for around two hours. I've visited other friends and coworkers when their children were less than a week old as well, and I've always held the baby (I can't resist sniffing that newborn head!)

Your friend certainly has every right to refuse visitors if she is not feeling up to it, but I dont' think there is a medical reason that a healthy adult shouldn't be able to visit. Is it possible your friend just doesn't want to deal with visitors coming by all the time (you mentioned she has a lot of local family) and so she and her husband have decided to put forth this "the doctor says no visitors" stance, thinking people won't argue if it is an order from their doctor?
 

Tacori E-ring

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I have never heard of this for healthy babies. I had visitors while in the hospital and the only requirement was washing their hands. I also started taking my daughter out in public when she was a week old. Changing clothes seems VERY extreme.
 

Lanie

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Feb 20, 2008
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No way.

I think your friend was caught in a hard spot, didn't want you to come at all, and has become more neurotic with a newborn (hey...it happens!) and is putting the blame on the doctor. Can you come visit? Ummmm.....no......the doctor said no visitors for 6 weeks.....
It probably has to do with baby not having shots yet, and she's probably scared of him getting sick. Lots of new moms are.

She could also be having some depression, and is not up for visitors, but doesn't want to come right out and say that. Again, it happens.

She's probably being over protective, which is fine. Let her have her space. You'll get to visit eventually.

ETA: You aren't missing much! It's more fun to visit them when they aren't asleep as much. :cheeky:
 

Hudson_Hawk

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Lanie|1308321557|2948341 said:
No way.

I think your friend was caught in a hard spot, didn't want you to come at all, and has become more neurotic with a newborn (hey...it happens!) and is putting the blame on the doctor. Can you come visit? Ummmm.....no......the doctor said no visitors for 6 weeks.....
It probably has to do with baby not having shots yet, and she's probably scared of him getting sick. Lots of new moms are.

She could also be having some depression, and is not up for visitors, but doesn't want to come right out and say that. Again, it happens.

She's probably being over protective, which is fine. Let her have her space. You'll get to visit eventually.

ETA: You aren't missing much! It's more fun to visit them when they aren't asleep as much. :cheeky:

This 100%. It's not a reflection on you personally, I'm betting she's feeling this way about most everyone right now.
 

alli_esq

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 18, 2008
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909
My friend was actually really upset talking to me--she said she could really use some company and is really feeling lonely and overwhelmed because her husband had to go right back to work, her mom works 4 days/week and she is having a really hard time with all the feedings and doing everything herself. I didn't think I was foisting myself on them--I had told her the day before she gave birth that I was fine with any decision she made and I didn't want to ask her after the fact whether she wanted visitors at the hospital or not. She said that she really wanted me there (we've known each other since we were three, our moms are best friends--she's the closest thing to a sister I have).

I feel for her, and I really do think that she wants to have people over but she's so worried about exposing the baby to something...and apparently two (TWO!) doctors have told her to wait until at least 6 weeks. I didn't know that this was a thing, that's all. Of course I respect my friend and will do anything she wants and of course I can wait until the baby is 6 weeks old (I'm anxious but I'd never intrude if I wasn't wanted!)

I just wanted to see if this was common because it did seem extreme to me...that's all! Naturally, this is my friend's child and she has every right to make whatever decision she wants to make! She said her aunts were very hurt that she couldn't have them over (they've all been bringing her food, etc.) so I told her that she should get used to having everyone put their two cents in about parenting--I'm sure she's got a lifetime ahead of her about that, hehe :lol: Certainly not from me (what the heck do I know anyway?!), but she does have a busybody family!
 

movie zombie

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Jan 20, 2005
Messages
11,879
many years ago when my daughter was born....and i mean many years ago....i instituted a no visitors policy for 30 days. my thinking is that a baby does not have an up and functioning immune system. i do not regret that decision.
 

MichelleCarmen

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That is really odd. Didn't happen with me and the hospital my kids were born at is VERY strict. My older son was in the NICU for a fever only 1 degree over the limit, so he stayed there for a day (or two) and when I took him back to the room, friends/family came right and visited.

If it's a concern for you, it'd be a good idea to contact the hospital you would be planning to have your baby at to see their policy.
 

tiffanytwisted

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 28, 2006
Messages
792
This is odd. Last year when H1N1 was a problem the hospital I work at did restrict visitors, and our sister hospital limited labor and delivery visitors to just the father/significant other. But that was only during that outbreak. Our NICU does have visitors put gowns on to hold the sicker babies but not for healthy ones.
 

dreamer_dachsie

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I have never heard that advice about visitors. But doctors very often give patients advice that is based more on their cultural/family ideas than on medicine it seems. This could be one of those cases.
 

DivaDiamond007

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Jun 7, 2007
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It think it sounds crazy for a healthy baby. I took my son out in public at around 1 week old. He's now going on 3 and is generally a very healthy little boy. He started at an in-home daycare at 6 months and has had a few colds and 2 stomach bugs but otherwise he's perfectly fine.

With my daughter, who was 5 weeks premature, we've been a lot more neurotic about though. She spent 16 days in the NICU and during that time we allowed very few people to visit/hold her. You had to wear a gown over your clothes in the unit and they didn't allow anyone that had been sick in the last 2 weeks in. Yes, they asked every single time you checked in. If you even looked like you were getting a cold you had to also wear gloves and a mask! Once she came home DH and I were advised by the NICU doctor to not take her out in crowded places during RSV season (I think it's October - April here) until she's 2 YEARS old. We also do not allow anyone to touch or hold our daughter unless they scrub their hands and arms othe elbow and, further, we do not let people over if they have been sick - we prefer that one be symptom free for at least 5 days prior to coming over. Whew!

All of that said, it can be really tough with a newborn. I never thought I'd be so neurotic with our daughter but, honestly, she's already been through so much in her short life (she's 5.5 months now) and we just want her to continue to be healthy. It's hard too that our son is a walking germ, as toddlers are!
 

fieryred33143

Ideal_Rock
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May 18, 2008
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Dreamer_D|1308328265|2948431 said:
I have never heard that advice about visitors. But doctors very often give patients advice that is based more on their cultural/family ideas than on medicine it seems. This could be one of those cases.
Ditto!!

I think often times people forget that doctors are parents too and their advice is coming from what they would do or have done with their own children. You can give them authority over medical situations (or at least put your trust in them) but you don't have to give then authority over your parenting choices!
 

nfowife

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 15, 2011
Messages
544
I have heard of some hospitals not allowing children who are not siblings on the delivery floor.
But for a full-term healthy baby, once home? So long as visitors wash their hands it should be fine. Think of the average newborn who has a sibling (or 2 or more...). The exposure to germs is just part of the territory.
I was out at playgroup activities with both my 2nd and 3rd babies at ~10 days old. Visitors had left, DH was back at work and I was on my own and had to get back into our normal routine, which was not sitting at home all day (unfortunately, I miss those days with just 1 baby!).

I think her doctor is being quite extreme and old-fashioned. Is her baby full-term and healthy?
 

Skippy123

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Nov 24, 2006
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hmmm, maybe her doctor is strange? I guess it depends. I let my parents and sister see my boys, but not others. It was mainly because they are Premature babies and their immune systems aren't like other babies (the NICU docs kind of suggested it that way too). I will now let people see my boys since they received their 2 month shots. I agree with the others maybe she is busy/stressed so maybe it is easier to make the doctor excuse. Having a newborn is fun but also very tiring w/lack of sleep. Maybe you can go visit in a couple of months before RSV season and hopefully she has a routine down so it will make it easier for all. :halo: She is lucky to have you as a friend!!!
 

Amber St. Clare

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Dec 15, 2009
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Is it possible that there is a complication your friend isn't comfortable about discussing and just gave the timeline without an explanation? Maybe she will discuss her reasoning after the deadline passes.
 

drk

Brilliant_Rock
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Mar 15, 2005
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1,102
I don't think there's any reason not to visit, especially since its a heathy term baby. Those docs seem strange. I think my Mum was getting over a cold when K was born. I just had her wash her hands and wear a mask to hold K. I wouldn't have let anyone else with a cold come over, and I did want people to wash their hands.
It sounds like your friend will go nuts if she's kept on her own for the entire 6 weeks. I hope she doesn't continue to follow her doctors' instructions, because it sounds like she'd do much better with support and visits from her aunts and from you.
 

Haven

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Amber St. Clare|1308345616|2948649 said:
Is it possible that there is a complication your friend isn't comfortable about discussing and just gave the timeline without an explanation? Maybe she will discuss her reasoning after the deadline passes.
This would be my thought as well.

Our cousins had a baby six months ago and all of the members of their parents' generation have been heavily criticizing them/complaining behind their backs about how they require everyone to wash their hands before handling the baby. My FIL was getting all heated up about it at a family dinner not too long ago that I couldn't help myself and blurted out "Their baby, their rules!" I know my cousins have good reason for requiring the extra cleansing, so I imagine your friend has good reason for this precaution, as well. And if she doesn't, well--her baby, her rules!
 

random_thought

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Messages
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I have a different perspective. On another baby board I post on, several of the ladies were told not to bring their babies out into public or to have visitors until the baby is 6 weeks (and sometimes 8 weeks!!) old! They also found this odd and were wondering why their doctors would tell them this aside from developing immune systems. It is entirely possible that her doctor really did tell her this but didn't give her an explanation why...

AFM, I wasn't told this and C even had visitors when he was in the nicu a couple of days after he was born. Also we had family members in the delivery room who held him when he was only a few hours old :)

So my guess is that she is overwhelmed and doesn't want to deal with visitors right now or that her doctor really did tell her that. Sorry if I rambled, I haven't been to bed yet lol
 

chemgirl

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I just wanted to add that some cultures believe that the baby should be kept away from visitors for the first few weeks. Maybe the doctor told your friend to isolate the baby because of his or her own cultural beliefs?

I only know about this practice because my aunt (through marriage) is very insistent that her children be isolated for the first month or so after birth. She and her family were completely horrified that my family expected to visit them after the baby was born. In her culture, its seen as very harmful to the baby to have it out in public, or around visitors in the first month. Its something no responsible parent would do (in her opinion). My family sees this as just rude and believe that the grandparents should be involved from day one. The cultural differences created some drama.

ETA: Her mom wasn't even allowed over for the first six weeks!
 

alli_esq

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Thanks, everyone, for your input! I wasn't suggesting that I would go anyway, of course--it's my friend's decision all the way (Haven, you hit the nail on the head, of course--"her baby, her rules!")...I was just curious if this was common practice now. I understand that people are always coming up with the next "new thing" when it comes to babies, child development and medicine in general and I am totally out of the loop on those advances.

I know there are a lot of mommies (and new mommies) on here, so I thought you ladies would certainly know more than I do...and, of course, you do!

I am certain the reason she wants to keep the baby isolated is immune-system related. I also understand that washing hands is a perfectly reasonable thing to ask someone to do...changing clothes before you handle a full-term, healthy baby was just something I'd never heard before and although I am sure that is immune-system related as well, I don't really understand it. But again--her baby, her rules! :bigsmile:

Even though I do wish I could spend some time with the baby even this early on--even if she doesn't "do" much, since I (and my friend) do plan on my being a big part of her life as she grows up and I'd like to bond with her--I would never tell my friend that she's doing the wrong thing or that she's hurt my feelings (she hasn't--I don't tend to take these things seriously, though my mother is really angry over the whole thing). I told her that she should just let me know when I can come over (for whatever reason she has!) or do anything for her.
 

meresal

Ideal_Rock
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Maybe these are her rules, and she is just saying they are doctor's orders, so that family members don't get mad.
 

Skippy123

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Allie, you are such a good friend to your friend!!! I am glad you started this thread. I never realized how many different opinions there were on the subject.
 

Haven

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Skippy123|1308415906|2949011 said:
Allie, you are such a good friend to your friend!!! I am glad you started this thread. I never realized how many different opinions there were on the subject.
I agree--you are such a good friend, Alli! I hope you enjoy spending time with the baby once the visitors restrictions are lifted!
 

Bliss

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Awww you are such a sweet friend, Alli! So understanding and compassionate! I agree with the others that changing clothes is over the top unless you're a heavy smoker because all those toxic chemicals from secondhand smoke are all over the clothes! But otherwise... that is something new! We only allowed immediate family members over the first 30 days and they all had pertussis shots way in advance. After that, we avoided crowds and groups of people but definitely had visitors...just very few! I guess one reason why your friend might have that unilateral policy is that some people can be so careless about illnesses.

I remember people wanting to come over to see the baby and they'd be SNIFFLING over the phone! I'd ask if they were sick and they'd be like, "Yeah, just a flu bug but I'm taking Vitamin C!" Ummm, no. LOL. And maybe saying no to one friend and not another would cause hurt feelings if they mentioned they were invited and someone else wasn't? Just guessing here. Washing hands helps a lot, but if someone has pertussis and coughs on the baby then the baby gets pertussis no matter how well you wash your hands. And pertussis in early infancy can be deadly - at the very least it is very very dangerous to newborns. So maybe she's seen all the pertussis PSAs or heard of someone's baby who got pertussis and is being extra paranoid? :twirl: I know I was super paranoid early on but am more lax about it now!
 

packrat

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I could see if someone were sick and wanted to come over. I've never heard of people changing their clothes at the hospital. I don't see the difference between people visiting a healthy baby at home before age 6 weeks when sometimes at 6 weeks they go to daycare with a lot of other little kids you know? I'd think that would be more of a germ worry than Aunt Helen coming over to hold the baby for 20 minutes. I would be irritated if I was expected to never set foot out of the house for 6 weeks, or could only leave if husband were home. Husband goes out in the world and is exposed to germs that he would potentially bring home so..I guess I don't get the big deal about having a few visitors. When I had Trapper my coworkers at my Dr's office came upstairs right from work to hold him and visit-and we're exposed to everything every day.
 

Pandora II

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How bizarre.

First of all, newborn babies actually have pretty strong immune systems as they have got antibodies from their mothers. Secondly if you are breastfeeding they are getting even more. Being overly 'clean' is not good for the immune system.

I was in ICU for a couple of days after having my daughter and my husband was allowed to visit me in there but no-one else. However all the OBs and nurses kept borrowing Daisy for a cuddle all the time so plenty of people potentially breathing germs over her.

I didn't feel up to visitors for the first few weeks and I did get quite agrophobic for the first 6 - I was convinced I would drop her or turn the stroller over or trip over with her in the sling, but then I nearly dropped her when she was 2 days old and was quite shaken up by that for a long time.

DH and I drove 2 hours each way to see my parents when she was 2 weeks old and a load of their friends came round to see her, then the next week we drove 4 hours each way to see his grandparents, my grandmother and his mother.

If a baby has siblings they can hardly be kept away for 6 weeks and they are bound to have a gazillion germs to donate - heck the human race would have died out if it was the case. I think she's either totally over-reacting or is not wanting to see people.
 

KimberlyH

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We were told by Jane's ped not to play "pass the baby" with her for the first few months. She was early and small but otherwise healthy. He recommended we avoid a large family event, Easter, or keep her in a sling if we did attend. We had our closest friends and family visit, which totalled about 10 people, during her first three months but otherwise we stayed home and cacooned. I don't regret the choice I made to follow his advice.

It sounds like your friend is a nervous first time parent who is trying to do everything just right. Impossible, but admirable, especially since she's lonely. You're a good friend for respecting her wishes. Jane's godmother showed up at our house with a friend of hers whom I'd never met and handed Jane off when she was about 5 weeks old. I almost flipped my lid. Looking back I realize it wasn't such a big deal but at the time I felt so violated.
 

monarch64

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Allie, you are a great friend...I would seriously love to have a friend like you if I had been blessed with a child...BUT

looking forward to childbirth...I don't want ANYONE besides my husband involved with our baby for at LEAST the first six weeks, and probably the first 8 weeks. I want that time to be totally ours and totally mine to bond with our baby.

Looking back on what I just wrote: it sounds awfully selfish. But, that's what child-bearing is! Selfish! Please understand that....

signing off as a "wanting but waiting."
 

suchende

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I'll add that when my friend recently gave birth, we mere friends were allowed to go hold the baby in the ICU, in street clothes! And that was at one of the best research hospitals in the country.

If my friend were in this situation and confided that she was feeling lonely and could use the help, I would encourage her to push the issue with the MD and explain the situation as far as getting a little extra help and companionship from a close friend goes (it sounds like you aren't getting the sense that this is coming from her and her preferences for bonding time with baby). Whatever concerns the MD might have, be may also decide that your friend's mental health trumps them. You know her better than we do, and I would hate for her to be feeling overwhelmed right now if the doctor is just being overly cautious.
 

Mara

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Sounds bizarre to me to that level... we def didn't want like 500 people over visiting so we just tried to lay low and only had maybe 10 people see him in the first few weeks, but a best friend, definitely welcome to come over! It is definitely easy to become paranoid with a new baby as a first-time parent, and if your pedi or doctor is feeding into that, who knows, maybe she didn't question it at all. But as far as I know there's not some magic thing that happens around 6w where they are magically safe from whatever.

Before we had the baby a friend had a 'meet the baby' party like a week after the baby was born where they had anyone and everyone as an open-house to come and meet the baby so that they didn't have to schedule anything one/one with people...I thought it was genius idea at the time but after we had him, I don't think I would have been keen on him seeing like 50 people at 1 week old or 50 people holding him. I def was trying to be a little more cautious for the first few months.
 
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