Health and wellbeing blogs

Leaving hospital with a new baby during COVID-19

During the COVID-19 pandemic new parents are facing the tough task of determining how to keep their family safe while introducing their new baby to their family and friends. Our midwife Zoe Islip explains why erring on the side of caution is the best policy.

St John of God Health Care maternity and COVID-19Welcoming a new baby into the world is an amazing time for all parents, whether it is their first baby or another addition to a growing family.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, our hospitals are putting in place extra precautions to help keep you, your baby and your family safe and well. Find out what to expect when you come to hospital to give birth during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Throughout your pregnancy and during your stay with us, we will help and support you with the early days of parenthood, including breastfeeding support, as well as providing additional care for you or your newborn as needed.

We are also on hand to answer any of your COVID-19 related pregnancy and breastfeeding questions.

Leaving hospital

When you are ready to leave hospital with your newborn, you may feel anxious about how you can keep you and your family safe.

In hospital, only one person is allowed to visit. This means it is when you go home that other family members or friends might start asking to visit.

We recommend that you follow the advice in relation to social distancing from the Federal and State Governments and health departments where you live. Check the advice below for the most up-to-date information:

If you have older children in your household then they will first meet their new sibling when you go home.

You may also need or want the support of grandparents and other extended family members. We recommend you err on the side of caution and limit the number of visitors as much as possible while following the relevant social distancing rules applicable to where you live.

Get support

We recognise that this is an incredibly challenging time for families welcoming newborns, and the physical and emotional support normally available via your wider family network is greatly reduced.

Before you leave hospital, ask your midwives any questions that have been burning at the back of your mind.

They will let you know when you can expect a visit from a child health nurse, and what additional support is available where you live, including home visiting midwives (if you live in Perth, our St John of God Healthcare at Home midwives provide support) and mothers groups that are now available online or via telephone.

Our St John of God Raphael Services can provide free video and telephone consultations if you need some extra support for your emotional wellbeing as a new parents. All you need is a referral and a Mental Health Treatment Plan (plan not required in NSW) from your GP. Call 1800 292 292.

Stay connected

The one thing we can all be thankful for is that new technology is helping us stay more connected during this time as well, so you might be able to use a video chat instead of face-to-face visits with family and friends too.

Zoe Islip
Zoe Islip Clinical Coordinator for maternity services and midwife

About the Author

Zoe Islip is the St John of God Health Care Maternity Reference Group Coordinator. She is an experienced midwife and worked in all aspects of maternity care including breastfeeding, birth, antenatal and postnatal care and parent education. She was named Catholic Health Australia’s Emerging Leader Award in 2017 for her leadership role in delivering excellence in midwifery services.