Breastfeeding and COVID-19
If you are a breastfeeding mama you may be wondering about feeding during this time of uncertainty. Rest assured that breastfeeding is still being promoted and encouraged for those mamas who are healthy! Breastmilk contains many components that cannot be replicated such as antibodies, which help protect your baby from infection! COVID-19 has not been detected in breastmilk and is considered safe and optimal for infant health.
Recommendations for mamas who do not know if they are sick (for example, if you may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19) or present with mild symptoms, such as a minor cough, include breastfeeding while practicing proper hygiene and/or expressing breastmilk and having someone who is healthy feed your baby. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that practicing good hand hygiene by washing your hands for at least 20 seconds coupled with proper respiratory hygiene by wearing a mask are an option! I’d also recommend practicing good overall body hygiene as well. Another option is to have someone who is healthy and not showing symptoms of COVID-19 feed your baby. In this circumstance, you can pump breastmilk using the measures mentioned above (hand hygiene, mask, cleansed skin) along with thoroughly sanitized pump parts (for example, washing parts with hot water and soap and then boiling pump parts for 5 minutes).
If you are having moderate or severe symptoms or have tested positive for COVID-19 please discuss this with your physician. Recommendations for infant feeding may vary on a case by case basis depending upon severity of symptoms and test results.
Here are some helpful links and resources. The recommendations are changing frequently and it’s always best to consult with your physician if you are unsure of the best way to feed or care for your infant.
**Disclaimer: Medical information and recommendations surrounding COVD-19 are changing constantly. The information provided in this article or on the linked websites should not be considered complete or exhaustive, nor should you rely on such information to recommend a course of treatment for you or any other individual. Reliance on any information provided on this website or any linked websites is solely at your own risk. The information in this article does not substitute medical advice provided by your licensed medical doctor.