Sunday, September 26, 2021

HEALTHIER YOU: Breastfeeding and COVID

August 1, 2021 by  
Filed under Health

Breastfeeding and COVID

BY DR. ANNETTE MAYES, OB/GYN

DR. ANNETTE MAYES

The month of August is National Breastfeeding Awareness Month. Many women know that breast milk provides their babies with protection against many illnesses, but there are still many questions around breastfeeding during the COVID pandemic. Though breastfeeding is ultimately a personal decision, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO) and the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine (ABM) all support giving mother’s breast milk to their babies even if they are infected with COVID-19.

According to recent reports, COVID-19 has not been detected in breast milk. Similarly, other respiratory viruses have not been transmitted in breast milk. For example, the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS-CoV) virus that is a similar virus has not been detected in breast milk.

The ABM suggests if a mother who is confirmed to have COVID-19 or has symptoms and is under investigation, she should isolate from others, including from her infant to reduce the risk for transmission. The ABM recommends a breastfeeding mother can either: provide an ongoing supply of breast milk by expressing milk using a breast pump, or allow mother/baby contact for breastfeeding sessions with precautions.

Based on CDC recommendations, if a mother with COVID-19 gives birth in the hospital, the baby may be temporarily separated from the mother to reduce risk of transmission of COVID-19 to the newborn. During this time of separation, providing the baby with expressed breast milk is recommended.

There are several safety tips for breastfeeding mothers who have COVID-19 or symptoms:

Avoid people who are sick

Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze, immediately throw away any tissues used, and wash hands thoroughly

Wear a mask for any contact, including while breastfeeding the baby

Wash hands well for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based sanitizer that contains 60% to 95% alcohol before and after feedings (both feeding at the breast and expressing milk). Wash hands well when visibly soiled

Clean and disinfect countertop, outside of pump and pump kit as described above

If a mother has coughed or sneezed onto her uncovered chest or breast, cleanse the skin that may come into contact with the baby or pump

Clean and disinfect other surfaces that the child may touch

For more information, call Las Vegas All Women’s Care at (702) 522-9640. Or visit us at 700 Shadow Lane #165 in Las Vegas.

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