This year has been especially challenging for everyone with the outbreak of COVID-19. With a surge in cases right now, parents with babies born during the pandemic are more concerned than ever about the health and wellbeing of their children. When it comes to breastfeeding, you may be wondering if it’s safe to do so. The short answer is yes! You can start and continue to breastfeed during this time with some recommended safety measures.
COVID-19 is transmittable through close contact with an infected person when they cough, sneeze, or talk. Currently, the COVID-19 virus has NOT been detected in breastmilk. This tells us that breastfeeding can continue despite the rise of COVID-19 with many benefits to you and your child.
Benefits of breastfeeding during a pandemic
While there is not enough information available to know if breastmilk protects babies from COVID-19, we do know breastfeeding provides your baby with numerous protections against infectious diseases. It also releases the hormone oxytocin in mom’s body helping to relieve the excess stress and anxiety a pandemic can bring. Need another reason to breastfeed right now? It’s free and readily available – this is particularly helpful during a pandemic when so many are unable to safely work or make trips to the grocery store.
What to do if you have symptoms or test positive for COVID-19
In addition to the CDC guidelines, these steps will help you avoid spreading the virus to your baby:
- Wash your hands before touching your baby
- Wear a cloth face covering while feeding at the breast
- Wash your hands before touching pump or bottle parts and clean all parts after each use
- Connect with your pediatrician and a lactation specialist
Symptoms of COVID-19
If you or anyone in your home is exhibiting any of the following symptoms, contact your healthcare provider:
· Fever or chills
· Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
· Muscle or body aches
· New loss of taste or smell
· Sore throat
· Congestion or runny nose
· Nausea or vomiting
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Maintaining your supply while isolating
If you test positive for COVID-19, the current guidelines suggest isolating for a period of 10 days from the onset of symptoms. If you choose to isolate you can pump regularly to keep your supply up. Make sure you are washing your hands before handling any pump equipment and bottles and clean your pump according to the directions for your brand. Have a healthy caregiver feed your baby when possible, making sure they thoroughly wash their hands for at least 20 seconds before handling bottles.
For more information and guidance for multiple scenarios, visit the CDC website
Build your support team and have a plan in place for emergencies. Your support team can include:
· Friends and family
· Pediatrician & other healthcare providers
· Lactation consultant
· Postpartum doula
We can help you maintain your breastfeeding relationship safely as we now offer virtual support! You don’t have to go through these challenges alone, give us a call.
In a word, YES!
Parents and caregivers are rightly concerned about keeping their babies safe as coronavirus becomes a global health issue- read on to learn how your amazing breastmilk protects your baby from illnesses!
The CDC states that breastmilk as the best source of nutrition for infants, and protects against many illnesses.
The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine says that “there are rare exceptions when breastfeeding or feeding expressed breast milk is not recommended.”
According to UNICEF, mothers can continue breastfeeding.
These guidelines are being updated often, as more is learned about how COVID-19 is spread. Continue to check back for current guidance for breastfeeding families.
Your breastmilk is an amazing substance: It contains antibodies to illnesses you may be exposed to, and helps your baby fight them off.
Human milk provides your baby with the best possible protection against disease. It’s packed with living cells that prevent infection, and the free fatty acids in human milk are antiviral.
Proteins in human milk are antimicrobial and stimulate baby’s immune system. Even the carbohydrates in breastmilk have a role in fighting pathogens like bacteria, viruses and fungi.
We can help you protect your breastfeeding relationship, milk production, and your baby’s health. Call us today for support! Now offering virtual visits.
Oh- the weather outside is frightful, but the Winter Baby is so delightful!
That’s right, we’re going to be talking about Winter Babies! Some parents may be a bit worried about the logistics of having a baby during the colder months of the year, so we wanted to ease some of those concerns by highlighting the pros of having a Winter Baby.
Snowing? No need to worry! You can stay in with your baby and enjoy watching the snow fall while cuddling up with your little one! Throw on a movie or a show to binge and get comfy with your bundle of joy.
Baby will be ready to go out on Spring adventures
By the time Spring comes around, your baby will be more interactive and ready for Spring and Summer adventures with the family.
Holidays and sense of togetherness
The holidays are the staple of the winter season, and you’ll have an amazing gift to share the season with. Click here to read our blogpost on setting holiday boundaries with your family!
Pajama Season> Bathing Suit Season
After giving birth, you probably want to cuddle up in your pajamas and fluffy blankets. This is what winter is all about! We think pajama season is a hundred times better than swimsuit season!
Who doesn’t love food? Winter time is known for turkey, stuffing, mac n’ cheese, and all types of desserts (are you drooling yet?). There’s something about a plate of food, a cup of hot chocolate, and cuddles from a newborn that can bring a feeling of happiness to anyone.
Did you have a Winter Baby? If so, what are some of your favorite things about having your baby during the cooler months? Tell us on our Facebook! Also, check out our tips on surviving winter with a newborn to make sure you’re prepared for cold and flu season.
It’s getting colder and messier outside, and it’s time to start prepping for winter! If you just gave birth or are expecting to give birth in the midst of the cold months, there are some important things to keep in mind as it gets colder. Be sure to check out the links for more detailed information! Let’s begin!
Staying Around the House
- Preventative cold and flu care- Do everything you can to prevent your family from being exposed to the cold or flu virus-
- Flu shots for everyone in the household over 6 months old
- Clean hands
- Disinfectant wipes
- Set rules for when others visit.
- Don’t overdo the heating and blankets- this could cause baby to overheat!
When Going Out
- Avoid crowded areas, like grocery stores, when you can- get your groceries delivered!
- Careful not to over dress baby- Stick to easily removable layers. Watch out for overheating and over bundling baby, especially when buckled in car seat
- Make sure you are bundled yourself!
- Be mindful during checkups- other children may be sick in the office.
- Carry around disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer.
If you or your baby gets sick
- Keep breastfeeding! –
- If you are sick, you are still able to breastfeed. It is actually recommended to continue breastfeeding because your child would already have been exposed to the disease before you began experiencing symptoms.
- If your baby becomes sick, your breastmilk composition changes to meet their needs. This means more antibodies in your breastmilk that can help the baby fight off illness!
We hope that this little guide was helpful! If you suspect yourself or your baby have the cold or flu, please schedule an appointment with your pediatrician as soon as possible. If you feel as though your breastmilk supply is affected by the cold or flu, please schedule with an IBCLC as soon and possible to adjust your routine.