You’ve been expecting your baby for nine months. You slept regularly, took prenatal vitamins, went to appointments, and did all you could to stay healthy. How can you keep your newborn safe during the COVID-19 pandemic now that he or she has arrived?
Everyone is under stress as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. This can be particularly true for breastfeeding mothers who are worried about their baby’s health. However, with some precautions, mothers can successfully begin and continue breastfeeding during the pandemic.
Breast Milk provides the best nutrition for infants and safeguards them from disease. Breastfeeding disruption can result in a decrease in milk supply, refusal by the baby to take the breast, and a reduction in protective immune factors found in breastmilk.
However, mothers would naturally be concerned, wondering if coronavirus can be transmitted via breast milk and what they can do to protect themselves and their babies.
Advantages of Breastfeeding During a Pandemic:
- Breastfeeding is beneficial to infants.
Breastfeeding protects infants from various infections. Breastmilk does not shield babies from SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Several studies, however, have discovered antibodies that target the virus in human milk. Furthermore, breastfed babies are less likely to experience severe respiratory problems when they become ill.
- Breastfeeding is beneficial to mothers.
Breastfeeding hormones foster health and can alleviate tension and anxiety in the mother’s body.
- Breast milk is easily available.
There is no need to buy anything! This is especially critical during public health crises when it can be challenging to obtain formula and other feeding supplies.
Indeed, even though you test positive for COVID-19, your baby can still consume breast milk. Breast milk is both healthy and essential for the infant.
Is breastfeeding safe during COVID 19 Pandemic?
Whenever an infected person coughs, sneezes, or speaks, SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19 disease) spreads through close contact between people. So far, no infectious SARS-CoV-2 virus has been discovered in breastmilk. Breast Milk is healthy when a mother is suffering from other contagious illnesses such as influenza.
Can your baby breastfeed if you are tested COVID 19 positive?
Indeed, even though you test positive for COVID-19, your baby will still obtain breast milk. Breast milk is both healthy and essential for the infant.
- Breastfeeding in the open.
Before holding the infant, rinse your hands with soap and water, and wear a mask or cloth face covering while breastfeeding. Maintaining your infant skin-to-skin aids in latching and triggers milk flow.
- Breast milk pumping.
Put on a face mask, wash your hands well, and clean any pump bits, bottles, or artificial nipples—express milk as much as your baby feeds, or at minimum 6 to 8 times a day. A good caregiver will provide your baby the expressed milk. Inform all caregivers to wash their hands before handling bottles, feeding thoroughly, or caring for your child. Remember to clean your breast pump after use by CDC recommendations.
Can a COVID 19 positive mother stay in the same room with her child?
If both you and your family plan to keep your infant in the same space as you, keep a safe distance between you and your baby. When directly caring for your baby, cover your face with a cloth and wash your hands. Continue to take these steps until you have been fever-free for 24 hours without taking any fever medications (acetaminophen or ibuprofen); at least 10 days have passed since your COVID-19 symptoms began, and all of your symptoms have improved. If you tested positive but did not experience any symptoms, you should wait at least 10 days after the positive test result.
How can you protect your infant from COVID 19 infection?
Wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. If soap and water are not accessible, you should use hand sanitizer. Look for one that has at least 60% alcohol by volume. It would help if you did not use unwashed hands to touch your face, eyes, nose, or mouth. Also, make sure to disinfect any noticeably dirty or potentially polluted surfaces that your child can come into contact with.
If you’re ill, make an extra effort to cough or sneeze into your elbow or a tissue. Dump used tissues as soon as possible and wash your face.
Wear a cloth face-covering outside your home and exercise physical distancing by preventing public spaces and maintaining a 6-foot gap from others wherever necessary. Often, make sure that no one in your home comes into contact with someone who has respiratory problems such as coughing or who has COVID-19.
Breastfeeding has numerous health benefits for both infants and mothers. You can ensure the safety of both mother and the infant with vigilance and proper precautions. Consult your pediatrician on how to keep your baby safe and what services are available in your community to assist you.