As society continues in lock down and confinement in the comfort of our own homes. I am surrounded by family members whom are working remote, a teenager who locks himself in his room doing his High School's distance learning program, and two fur babies running around the house. Despite of all the chaos, our family remains healthy and in good spirits.
But I cannot help thinking about the people whom are diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus. Especially pregnant women and new moms who are also breast-feeding.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, COVID- 19 is a disease we are still in pursuit of learning about. We are in the beginning phases of questioning how the illness is transmitted, its health costs and potential spread all over the country.
Since the virus is new, there is not a lot of information and facts regarding the effect of Covid-19 to breast milk.
A detail we do know is the virus can spread from an infected individual through their respiratory droplets when they sneeze or cough.
That is why it is important to keep practicing social distancing.
So much is unknown but CDC state the virus has not been detected in breast milk; However we do not know whether mothers with COVID-19 can transmit the virus via breast milk. We all know breast milk is the best source of nutrients for growing babies. Besides the nutrition it gives, breastfeeding is also a form of bonding between mother and baby.
Here are the CDC's guidance on breast feeding for mother's confirmed COVID-19 or under investigation for COVID-19
If you decide to continue breast feeding make sure you discuss it with your family members and healthcare providers.
To prevent spreading the virus to the infant. You must wash your hands with soap and water before touching the infant. If possible, wear a face mask when breast feeding.
If you decide NOT breast feed but still want to give your infant breast milk and decide to use a (manual/electric) breast pump to express the milk, make sure to follow the CDC ‘s guideline on how to properly clean the pump and its bottle parts.
And always make sure to wash your hands with soap and water before touching any part of the breast pump.
If possible, consider someone in the family who is well enough to feed the child.
If you have a household member, intimate partner and caregivers in a non-healthcare setting whom are diagnosed or a patient under investigation of COVID- 19 click here