With the global COVID-19 pandemic, we are all trying to protect ourselves and others from the coronavirus. Protecting your baby is like protecting yourself.
Although medical research is ongoing, researchers have not yet found SARS-CoV-2 in breast milk and is it safe to breastfeed your baby.
Breast milk provide baby with immunity
If you can breastfeed your baby, it is important to keep it up. Breast milk gives your baby protection against several kinds of illnesses. It not only fills your baby’s hungry tummy; it also gives them automatic — but temporary — immunity against some bacteria and viruses.
Guidelines for “safe” breastfeeding
While scientists have already established that you likely cannot pass on the coronavirus through your breast milk, there is a small chance you can still pass it through droplets from your mouth and nose or by touching your baby after coming in contact with your face or these droplets.
- Wash your hands frequently & carefully before
- * touching your baby,
- * you pick up your baby or
- * handle baby bottles and other baby items.
- Disinfect surfaces
- Clean and disinfect surfaces that are used regularly and may be contaminated with droplets. This includes counter tops, changing tables, bottles, door handles, toilet flushing mechanisms, taps.
- Pump breast milk for additional feeds where your partner or a family member can feed your baby.
- * Wash your hands and clean any area of skin the breast pump will touch.
- * Wearing a mask is recommended.
- * Ensure that the bottle is completely sterile by placing it in boiled water between feedings.
- Keep baby formula and sterile baby bottles on hand ready to go if you feel you are ill or have symptoms of COVID-19, just in case.
- Wearing a mask while you are breastfeeding your baby is not necessary or recommended. (But, if you have any flu like symptoms and feel more comfortable to wear a mask while you are holding, changing, or talking to your baby, you are welcome to continue with it.)
Breastfeeding & bonding
With a new baby you almost always go unknowingly into a type of self-isolation, even before COVID-19!
How does feeding (breast or bottle-feeding) your baby now look like…not really different:
- Take a few minutes to carefully wash your hands with warm water and soap before feeding your baby.
- Get everything ready for feeding. You might want to use a hand sanitizer just before handling your baby.
- Get a comfortable feeding position (i.e. baby snuggles into your lap, “tummy to mommy”).
- Avoid touching your own face and gently caressing the back of baby’s head instead.
- As your baby feeds, you keep your hands and attention on him/her. Avoid touching your phone, laptop, or anything else that can risk infecting your clean hands and baby.
- Relax and bond as he/she feed himself into a peaceful slumber.
Risks of breastfeeding currently
Talk to your doctor if you must use any medication.
If you have severe COVID-19 symptoms, do not try to breastfeed. You need your energy to help you recover from this infection.
Contact your physiotherapist at 021-976 4832 or firstname.lastname@example.org should you experience any problems.