the Coronavirus Pandemic
During this time of COVID-19, everyone has questions about staying safe, including families with infants and young children. Mothers with newborns and young children in particular may have specific questions about the safety of breastfeeding during the coronavirus pandemic.
Although research and information related to COVID-19 is emerging and being regularly updated, evidence continues to suggest that breastmilk is the optimal first food for infants, both during the pandemic and beyond.
At Childbirth Graphics, we recognize that this a challenging and uncertain time for expectant parents, new parents, childbirth educators, and healthcare professionals, including lactation consultants, who are, in many cases, having to provide consultations as best they can remotely. We’re here to help with educational handouts and other breastfeeding education materials that can be adapted for remote learning.
Learn more about current recommendations and guidelines for breastfeeding during the coronavirus crisis, and discover some of our breastfeeding education tear pads, booklets, and pamphlets that provide valuable information that mothers can study in the safety of their own homes during this time of COVID-19.
What Are the Benefits of Breastfeeding During This Pandemic?
Now, as always, breastfeeding is the best way to give most babies the best start in life. Breastmilk contains growth factors that ensure the optimal development of a baby’s organs. For a baby’s first 6 months, breastmilk provides ideal amounts of protein, sugar, fat, fluids, and most vitamins needed for healthy growth and development. Even after a baby starts eating complementary foods, breastmilk continues to provide essential nutrition. It is recommended that babies be exclusively breastfed for the first 6 months of life. Breastfeeding should be continued as complementary foods are introduced until at least 12 months of age. Breastfeeding should continue as long as both mother and baby desire.
best with our The ABCs of Breastfeeding Benefits Pamphlet.
Unlike formula, breastmilk contains disease-fighting substances called antibodies that help protect against many illnesses. When compared with formula-fed infants, breastfed babies are less likely to have ear infections, stomach viruses, and respiratory infections. When breastfed babies do become ill, they generally have less severe respiratory symptoms. Although not confirmed yet by research, it is possible that mothers who have been infected with the coronavirus may produce antibodies that will help protect their infants from COVID-19.
For mothers, hormones released during breastfeeding can help relieve anxiety and tension, which is especially important during this stressful time of COVID-19.
Can an Infected Mother Pass the Coronavirus to Her Baby Through Breastmilk?
Although research is ongoing, to date, the coronavirus responsible for COVID-19 has not be found in breastmilk. Other respiratory viruses, such as the severe acute respiratory syndrome virus (SARS-CoV), which is similar to the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, have also not been detected in breastmilk.
Tear Pad Set includes 8 informative English/Spanish tear pads .
Can Mothers Continue to Feed Their Babies Breastmilk If They Are Sick With COVID-19 or Are Suspected of Coronavirus Infection?
Yes, mothers with COVID-19 and mothers suspected of being infected with the coronavirus can still provide their babies with breastmilk. Whether mothers choose to provide breastmilk directly to their infant through breastfeeding—or whether they have someone who is well and uninfected feed their baby expressed breastmilk—is a decision parents should make in consultation with their healthcare professionals.
Different organizations have different recommendations. The American Academy of Pediatrics, for example, recommends that babies of mothers with COVID-19 or suspected of infection express their breastmilk and that their babies be fed by an uninfected caregiver. However, the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest that mothers with COVID-19 who choose to breastfeed their babies directly do so with precautions, including wearing a facemask while breastfeeding and washing their hands before touching the baby. Other steps for mothers to take include washing their hands after touching their baby and regularly cleaning any surfaces they have touched.
Infected mothers who choose to express their breastmilk and have a healthy, uninfected caregiver feed their baby should clean their hands before touching any breast pump or bottle parts and follow all recommended guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting breast pumps and bottle parts.
information a mother can study in her own home.
A Time of Questions
This time of COVID-19 is a period of new questions and emerging information. Women who are pregnant and women who are breastfeeding should consult with their healthcare professionals as the situation develops for the best implementation of care and to follow their personalized recommendations to ensure their health and the health of their babies.
Childbirth Graphics Breastfeeding Education Resources
Childbirth Graphics has a dedicated line of breastfeeding education materials that are ideal resources to help expectant and new mothers learn about the important role of breastfeeding and how to ensure breastfeeding success. In addition to our breastfeeding education models, displays, and activities, we have many breastfeeding teaching resources, such as breastfeeding education booklets, pamphlets, and tear sheets that expectant and new mothers can learn from in the safety of their homes, which is especially important during the coronavirus pandemic. To learn more about our breastfeeding education materials, please visit our Breastfeeding Products Education Section.
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