When it comes to protecting your newborn baby from pain, as a parent, you can often be made to feel like you are being too precious in your overwhelming desire, just to protect your baby.
If your children are sick, they should stay home. You should not send them to kindergartens. They should not kiss and cuddle with other children. Nobody wants to spend a week working from home while caring for vomiting youngsters and still paying for childcare. Also, nobody wants to spend the weekend in bed because, you got it too.
Maybe you think it is nothing that some mothers are silly, that rush off to the doctors every five minutes and wrap their kids in cotton.
But, all you have to do is to read this horror story. This is a story about Claire Henderson from the UK, whose newborn daughter Brooke was kissed on the mouth. She spent five days in hospital after growing the herpes virus on her lips, cheeks and chin.
However, she was having luck. The cold sore virus can be fatal for a baby under three months. There was a case in Queensland just last year, when Mackay baby Eloise Lampton died from it. This happened a few short days after she was born.
Claire Henderson wrote on social media: “The moral of the story is do not let anyone kiss your newborn’s mouth, even if they don’t look like they have a cold sore. And if someone had a cold sore, ask them to stay away until it has gone.”
If you have a cold sore, why would you visit a helpless, defenceless, little newborn? And why would you kiss her? And on the lips, no less?
There is no explanation for this.
For six weeks, that tiny baby does not have the immunity that is necessary in order to fight against most of the germs. To that baby, to that baby’s family, this could be a struggle between life and death.
Not long ago, I tried to visit some good friends who had just had a baby, to be told. Could we possibly wait until after the baby’s six-week shots?
We have to stop looking at this as a new generation of over-protective parents, who are wrapping a child in cotton wool. It should be seen as nothing more than what it is — and that is the right thing to do.
It is your right and your responsibility to give the baby the best chance at life. No one should make you feel guilty for expressing caution.
You should not kiss a newborn baby on the lips. You must not let sick children near a new baby. And if you or your children are not vaccinated, then you should not go for a visit.
When the life of your child is at risk, you should not be polite.