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Breastfeeding and Coronavirus (COVID-19): Is it Safe?

As the global spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) has our communities on high alert, it is very normal for new mothers to feel anxious about how to best care for their babies, their families and themselves during this unprecedented time in history.  Daily life has been changing quickly and steps such as physical distancing, businesses closing, and working remotely are just a few that have been taken in order to keep families and communities safe and slow the spread of this virus.

If you are a breastfeeding mother, or you are pregnant and considering breastfeeding after delivery, you may be concerned about the safety of breastfeeding your baby if you suspect you have the coronavirus. There are a lot of unknowns surrounding the coronavirus, but what we do know is that breastfeeding remains to be the best source of nutrition for most babies and breast milk can help protect your baby.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization, breastfeeding is still the recommended feeding choice for babies of those who are suspected or confirmed to have the coronavirus at this time. In recent, limited studies, it appears that the coronavirus has not been transmitted through the breast milk. If you choose to breastfeed, there are extra precautions that need to be taken, such as wearing a face mask, washing your hands before and after feeding, and cleaning/disinfecting surfaces routinely.

If you should become too ill to breastfeed, you may consider continuing to provide breast milk for your baby by pumping routinely. This will help to maintain your milk supply so you can resume breastfeeding after you feel better. It is then recommended that your baby be fed the expressed breast milk by someone who is well. Remember to wash your hands prior to handling the pump parts and expressing your milk and wash all pump parts after each expression.

Becoming a new mother is both an exciting and emotional time. There is no doubt that as the news stories continue about the effects of the coronavirus, worry and anxiety can leave us paralyzed with fear. But, instead of letting our gaze drop to our circumstances, we must focus on each day as it comes. If you have questions or need someone to talk to, please call us at 972-428-4700 or chat with us online.

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