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COVID-19 and the Importance of Breastfeeding


The World Health Organization (WHO) published information on caring for infants and mothers with COVID-19: infection control and breastfeeding on 13 March 2020.

There is a lot of uncertainty out there these days, but Mother of Fact has your back. The one thing you CAN control is how informed you are about COVID-19 and the importance of breastfeeding.

Here is summary information on COVID-19 and the importance of breastfeeding just for you and your loved ones!

  1. Breastmilk samples from the mothers after the first lactation were all negative for SARS-CoV-2.
  2. Breastfeeding is protective.
  3. Babies born to mothers with suspected, probable, or confirmed COVID-19 infection, should be fed according to standard infant feeding guidelines with the use of necessary precautions for infection control.
  4. Precautions include washing hands before touching the infant and wearing a face mask.
  5. Breastmilk can be expressed and given to the baby as needed. Precautions should also be taken while expressing breastmilk with a manual or electric breast pump.
  6. If feeding at breast is not deemed appropriate or capable, having someone, who is not sick, feed expressed breastmilk to the infant is an option.

If you are due to have a baby soon, and are wondering about your pending birthing and breastfeeding journey, it is best to ASK as many questions as you can from your healthcare provider. For great background information, that can give you somewhere to start: See “COVID-19: Separating Infected Mothers From Newborns: Weighing The Risks And Benefits”  HERE!

*adapted from IBFAN UK 4.2020

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Emily Sylvester

Emily Sylvester is the Founder & CEO of Mother of Fact. As a Licensed Registered Dietitian, International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, and Mom of 3, she's helped thousands of families in many low/middle income communities feel confident and supported in their feeding journey. Her mission is to eliminate the deficit of equitable breastfeeding & formula feeding help for all households & healthcare systems.
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