Leaving your Home during a Pandemic – Helpful Tips to Keep you Safe!

Unfortunately no matter how bad you don’t want to leave your house because your nervous about being exposed, the show must go on. There is no getting out of pregnancy check-ups, labs and glucose screenings when you’re 6 months pregnant like me and honestly there will be times when you or your partner will have to leave the house to get necessities and supplies no matter how hard you try to avoid it.

For me, leaving the house has to happen to make sure my baby and I are still healthy and developing nicely. During these uncertain times, my OB needs to know what’s going on with my baby so in the event I do get sick or something happens, we have a plan of attack and know what we are dealing with.

I’m not going to lie, I did call and ask if I 100% had to go to my glucose screening at Quest and 6 month check up at my OB’s office. My rational (although not full-proof) seemed logical at the time: this is my second pregnancy, I’ve had no symptoms that are out of the ordinary, I didn’t have diabetes in my first pregnancy and all of my appointments and labs thus far have been perfect. You can’t blame me for just checking even though I knew deep down what the answer would be….I still have to go!

Once I got over the fact that this was happening and I was going to have to venture out from the safety of my home (not only once but twice in one week), I decided to brainstorm ways to keep myself safe. Luckily for me, I have a solid lifeline and resource I can reach out to when I have questions (no matter how insane they might sound) and she will give me some helpful, honest tips and perspective.

My Aunt Sharon has been a nurse/midwife since before I was born. She is a pretty incredible woman who travels the globe helping mothers, women and teens in low income countries. She has birthed more babies than I can count. Who better to ask how to protect yourself from this scary pandemic than someone who is used to navigating the elements in third world countries.

Below is a list of suggestions she gave me that I hope you use when leaving the house. These suggestions and best practices can be used for anyone who needs to leave their home:

Before Leaving your Home

1. Make sure to wear a mask and gloves.

2. Wear your prescription eye glasses (if you have some) instead of your contacts.

3. Keep your skin covered. Wear long pants and long sleeves. Do not wear articles of clothing that need to be removed. For example, I had to get my blood drawn so I was able to push my sleeve up without removing my entire long sleeve shirt.

4. If you have long hair like mine, tie it back and put it in a bun.

5. Bring cleaning products with you like hand sanitizer and cleaning wipes.

6. Wipe down the inside of your car prior to leaving your house.

7. Bring extra masks and gloves. Place the clean masks and gloves in zip lock bags that say clean on the outside and bring another bag that says dirty to place used items in. The dirty bag is only used in the event you do not have an accessible trashcan.

While You are Out

1. Do not sit unless you have to.

2. Avoid using and touching your cell phone.

3. If you have to remove your mask or gloves for whatever reason you must use a new clean pair. Make sure to sanitize or wash your hands prior to putting the new ones on.

4. Make sure to maintain a 6 foot space between you and others.

5. Try to avoid touching anything. Do not let the gloves give you a false sense of being able to freely move around without being aware of what you are touching.

6. Do not touch your face or your clothes at anytime with your hands.

When You Return Home

1. Wipe down the inside of your car with cleaner.

2. Wipe down your phone, keys, wallet, credit cards, purse and anything else you might have used and touched while out.

3. Remove all clothes in your garage and immediately put them in the washing machine. (Helpful Tip: Put a towel and hand sanitizer on the washing machine so you don’t have to streak through your home.)

4. Leave your shoes outside or in the garage for 24 hours. Do not bring them in the house. You must wipe them down with cleaner before wearing them again.

5. Immediately go take a shower when you get back. Touch nothing on your way!

It’s important that we all stay safe and use precautions during these trying times. Please never forget that staying home is best for all of us, but you can never be too careful if you find yourself in a situation like me where leaving is the only option. Stay safe and healthy everyone!