Because breastfeeding is the best source of nutrition for a baby, many questions are being asked when it comes to feeding when you have COVID-19. Breastfeeding a baby doesn’t just create an irreplaceable bond between a mother and child, but is also packed with antibodies that can help boost your baby’s immune system. In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about breastfeeding and coronavirus:
Is there any risk if I breastfeed my baby while having COVID-19?
Until now, COVID-19 has not been found in breastmilk even when the mother is COVID-19 positive. However, because the virus is new, this evidence is based on the limited resources available. According to the CDC, current evidence gathered until now shows that COVID-19 can’t be transmitted through breastfeeding.
Can you get COVID-19 from milk?
In a study conducted in Wuhan, China, a sample of breastmilk was taken from mothers with COVID-19. The results showed that the samples tested negative for the virus. However, the sample used was limited. So far, COVID-19 is found to be transmitted through tiny droplets that spread when you talk, cough, or sneeze.
Because the virus is relatively new, some researches have been based on looking at similar viruses within the same coronavirus family. Breastfeeding is considered safe when a mother has other viral illnesses such as influenza.
Does breastfeeding protect against coronavirus?
One of the reasons why breastfeeding is so important is because it helps in building antibodies in the infant’s system against many respiratory diseases.
Benefits of breastfeeding during COVID-19:
- Breastfeeding is useful for babies
While it hasn’t been determined if breastmilk can protect babies from COVID-19, it helps protect them from other infections. With breastfed babies, severe respiratory symptoms are less likely to come across.
- Breastfeeding is a stress-reliever for moms.
Not only is it a great way to bond with your baby, but there are also hormones released in the mother’s body while breastfeeding that promote wellness. This can help in relieving stress and reducing anxiety.
- Breastmilk is easily accessible
Since it is a free source that is readily available for most mothers, it is a lot more accessible instead of having to go out to purchase it, especially if you have COVID-19 and are in quarantine.
Is it recommended to breastfeed when you have COVID-19?
Because breastfeeding is a healthy source of nutrition for the baby, its advantages outweigh the risks as far as research is considered. That’s why the World Health Organization recommends that mothers who have COVID-19 continue to breastfeed their infants while taking the necessary precautions and safety tips.
Safety tips for breastfeeding when you have covid-19
To minimize the risk of transmission of COVID-19 to your baby, here are a few safety tips to follow:
- Wash your hands before breastfeeding.
- Wear a mask while in close contact with your baby and especially while breastfeeding.
- If you choose to express breast milk, use your own breast pump, and wash your hands with soap and water before touching the pump after expressing milk.
- Clean all parts of the breast pump that you came in contact with.
- Consider finding a healthy caregiver who does not have COVID-19 and is not at risk of severe illness.
- Disinfect any surface you touch.
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Sources used in this article:
- COVID-19 and Breastfeeding – World Health Organization
- Breastfeeding During the COVID-19 Pandemic – Healthy Children
- Pregnancy, Breastfeeding and Caring for Newborns – CDC
- Is it Safe to Breastfeed if I Have COVID-19? – Kids Health
- Breastfeeding and Coronavirus Scientific Brief– WHO