Breastfeeding and COVID-19
Hey mamas! For all our pregnant mamas and breastfeeding warriors out there, we wanted to offer some guidance and resources around breastfeeding best practices in relation to covid-19. In a perfect world breastfeeding would be an easy, natural process free from tears, chaffed nipples and a global pandemic. Yet here we are and you’ve got some issues with it all. We hear you. We do too.
We are by no means doctors, nor are we authorities on public health and breastfeeding, but we do know a trusted source of information when we see one. Therefore, we’ve rounded up some information from La Leche League International (LLLI) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to help inform your breastfeeding decisions at this time. The main takeaway from both organizations is that breastfeeding is the best means of protecting a baby from getting sick or for reducing the severity of a baby’s illness if a baby does become ill. The common saying that breast milk is ‘liquid gold’ continues to hold up even with COVID-19. While there is currently no evidence that breast milk contains the coronavirus, we do know that when the mom becomes infected, secretory IgA antibodies, as well as other immune factors, are passed to the infant and can aid in the baby’s own immune response. Therefore, it’s important to keep on breastfeeding even when you or someone close to you becomes infected or exposed so your baby can reap the benefits. Super freaking cool, huh?
As always, following proper hand hygiene when breastfeeding is key. Wash your hands before and after touching your baby. If you are ill or have been exposed, wear a mask when breastfeeding (sorry, I know) and routinely disinfect all surfaces around your breastfeeding station. Most of these points are things you would do anyway, minus the mask wearing of course, so try not to let them be a source of anxiety for you. Below we’ve got a handy graphic to further illustrate this info.
We know this is a really stressful time for moms, particularly those who are expecting and those who are postpartum. Please take the time to check out the links below for more in-depth information about breastfeeding with COVID and how to keep yourself and your baby protected.
Hopefully these will help ease your anxiety and inform your decision-making around breastfeeding, whether you choose to or not. Speaking from experience, we feel the most empowered to make decisions for our families after we’ve read every single source of information out there (almost obsessively). Bottom line, you do what’s best for you and your family. Stay well.