"I lie awake at night worrying what would happen if I asked my friends to do one thing before they see my newborn."

Or am I wading into over-the-top territory?

I’m in my second-trimester and I’m sh*t scared of the birth.

Not the actual pushing, but what happens after.

Since hearing about baby Riley who passed away at 32-days-old due to contracting whooping cough from one of his well-wishing visitors, I’ve been in an internal panic. It’s kept me up almost every night.

Should I tell my friends and family that if they don’t get a whooping cough vaccine, they can’t see my baby?

"Should I be paranoid to keep their life as safe as possible?" Image via iStock.

My first thought, and that of my obstetrician's, is abso-f*cking-lutely. I'm getting the whooping cough vaccine as soon as I tick over into the third trimester to help protect my unborn baby from the world of anti-vaxers. And my husband is doing the same.

Now, I have no issues ordering my family to get the vaccine. I have no problems getting into a fight with them over it. No jab? Too bad. You can wait 6 weeks.

But my friends...well...I feel like an over-the-top, paranoid-first-mum, nob. (Someone I'm desperately trying not to be.)

When I was younger, I once got a text message from a colleague who had just given birth. It said something along the lines of, "if you so much as have a sniffle or a scratchy throat, don't come visit". At the time I thought, "who would go into a hospital with the flu?" and "paranoid, much?". I am now ashamed of myself for the second thought.

While it is common sense to most people not to visit a newborn when you're sick, I have recently witnessed friends and colleagues and family members tell me, with much delight, that they are going to see their friend's newborn/new niece/nephew. Only to say it with a blocked nose and hacking up some flem. When I mention, "aren't you worried about getting the baby sick?", they say, "oh, I'm not contagious anymore".

"No jab? No visit." Image via iStock.

Which only proves my fear that some people really just don't understand how delicate a newborn's health can be - and are happy to take the risk of infecting them. And look, I know I can't keep my baby safe from everything. But I will do whatever I can, and that's where the whooping cough vaccine comes in to play.

So do I send out a text message like this?

Dear diseased friends, I gave birth to a baby! We are so excited, but, in order for you to see my baby you need to be clear of the flu for a good one month. You need to have the whooping cough vaccine and provide me the certificate before entering the room. And you need to Dettol your entire self on arrival. Love you all. xx

Obviously, I wouldn't send exactly that, but that is basically what I would feel like I am asking of my friends. And I know some of them aren't huge fans of vaccines - some are petrified of needles, some don't see the point and most would think why have a vaccine to visit a friend's baby for 5 minutes?

To top it, we are the first in all our friendship circles to have a baby. Most aren't even married. So, I'm worried they just wouldn't understand. Like I didn't all those years ago when I received the stay-away message.

So...should I risk offending my friends and tell them no jab, no visit? Or should I just shut up and hope that the vaccine I get will protect my baby from my friends?

Save the Date to Vaccinate is an initiative from NSW Health to remind parents of the importance of on-time vaccinations for children. Visit to download the free ‘Save the Date’ phone app.

What would you do? Or have you been in this situation and how did you handle it?

If, like this reader, you have a dilemma that you would like advice about, please email [email protected] You will be contacted before publication, and your identity will be protected.

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“I didn’t go to see my best friend in hospital after she gave birth.”

Should you ban your family from holding your newborn baby?

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