New mums are being advised to keep visits from family and friends to a minimum during the swine flu peak expected this winter, to prevent their newborns contracting the virus.
Visitors should be limited until babies are at least two months old, according to the new advice from Royal College of Midwives and The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.
“A lot of people will want to come and cuddle the baby and it is just about showing some common sense,” says Dr Lim from The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.
The advice also recommends that women should be discharged from hospital as soon as possible after giving birth to reduce the chance of infection, as well as carrying out some antenatal follow-ups over the phone, rather than face-to-face.
However, Belinda Phipps, director of the National Childbirth Trust, said that people should use their own judgement to help reduce the spread. “The advice would be better directed at the general population to stay away if they are ill rather than give that mum something else to worry about, she has enough on her plate.”
The Department of Health continue to recommend that new mums and mums-to-be observe good hand hygiene and avoid contact with anyone who is known or suspected to have swine flu and if they have flu-like symptoms.