The COVID-19 pandemic is a stressful time for everyone. The fear and anxiety are a lot more horrifying for mothers who are breastfeeding their babies and are constantly concerned about their health. It is important to follow some precautions while breastfeeding during COVID-19. if all precautions are taken and followed, it is going to be easier to keep your baby safe.
Table of content:
1. Is breastfeeding safe if you test positive for COVID-19?
2. Benefits of breastfeeding
3. Precautions to keep your infant safe
Is breastfeeding safe if you test positive for COVID-19?
The coronavirus spreads through close contact when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks. The studies and research up till now show that the virus cannot be spread through breastmilk. Breastfeeding during COVID-19 if a mother tests positive is considered safe for the infant.
As breastmilk is extremely nutritious and important for a baby you can opt for these two ways to breastfeed your baby.
- Direct breastfeeding- Wash your hands thoroughly before holding your baby and wear a mask or cloth covering your face while nursing to them. Holding your baby closer helps the baby to latch on and helps in triggering milk release.
- Pumping breast milk- Wear a mask, wash your hands and wash any other object like artificial nipples, pump parts, and bottles. Express milk as much as your baby eats, about 6 to 8 times in 24 hours. The milk can be fed to the baby by a caregiver but make sure to tell them to take all precautions and sanitize before holding the baby. Clean your breast pump properly after every use.
Benefits of breastfeeding
The benefits of breastfeeding are plenty. It is one of the most important factors in a baby’s diet. These factors include:
- Breastfeeding is good for babies: it protects them from several infections. It is proven that breastmilk also protects the babies from COVID-19. The milk contains antibodies that target the virus. Also, breastfed babies tend to have fewer respiratory symptoms when they fall sick.
- Breastfeeding is good for the mother: Hormones that are released in the mother’s body during breastfeeding promote wellness and help in relieving stress and anxiety.
- No purchase requires: well, breastmilk is natural and does not require any kind of buying. It is useful during emergencies when buying formula or baby food supplies is not possible.
If you are breastfeeding your baby, it is important to follow the rules that can keep you can your baby safe from the virus. Wash your hands with soap or sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol before holding your baby. Avoid touching your face, nose, and mouth while the baby is with you. Also, clean all surfaces your baby may touch.
If you feel sick or show symptoms, do not cough or sneeze around the baby. Throw away tissues or anything that you have used and wash your hands.
Follow physical distancing and keep contact with others as limited as possible. It is your responsibility to keep your baby healthy.