Being pregnant during a pandemic can be very challenging but having to breastfeed during a pandemic can be challenging as well. Some mothers might have a big question about whether they have to continue breastfeeding during a pandemic. They worry that they can transmit the virus to the baby through breastmilk. They have bigger worries when they are sick.
At the same time, you understand that breastfeeding is important and beneficial for the baby. Should you breastfeed during a pandemic?
Is It Safe to Breastfeed During a Pandemic?
The biggest concern when you have to continue breastfeeding during a pandemic is safety, especially for the baby. However, you can rest assured that there is no proof that the virus can be transmitted to the baby through breastfeeding. It means that you can keep breastfeeding. It is safe.
You should breastfeed during the pandemic because it is the way to give antibodies to the baby. Breastfeeding is a great way to boost the health of the baby. This way, the baby can be protected from many infections. Of course, you must not forget the importance of breastfeeding to build the bond between the baby and the mother.
Breastfeeding while Taking Care of Your Hygiene
It is recommended for mothers to continue breastfeeding during a pandemic. However, you have to make sure that you practice good hygiene during feeding to improve safety. The baby still has the risk of catching the virus from close contact with the infected mother or infected family members. That is why if there is someone sick in the house, you need to practice the 3Ws diligently.
First of all, you need to wear a mask when breastfeeding. Next, you must not forget to wash your hands with soap anytime you want to touch the baby. You should also wash your hands after touching the baby. Last but not least, you also need to wipe clean, and disinfect the surfaces that will contact the baby regularly.
If You Fall Sick, You Need to Take Additional Hygiene Measures
What if the mother gets the virus just when she begins breastfeeding or shortly before she gives birth? In this circumstance, her body produces antibodies that can also be found in her breast milk. It will be useful to protect the baby from the virus. It will improve the immune responses of the baby. That is why continuing breastfeeding during a pandemic is a good thing for the baby.
If you are infected during the breastfeeding period, you should continue breastfeeding by taking additional hygiene measures to protect the baby. Do not forget to wear a mask anytime to get near your baby. Wash your hands with soaps often. Wipe clean every surface carefully as well. More importantly, you must not forget to get medical care as soon as possible if you have some symptoms including cough, fever, and also difficulty breathing.
A Cup and a Spoon when You are Too Sick to Continue Normally Breastfeed
Taking care of yourself when you fall ill can be pretty difficult. However, there is a baby that needs you. Breastfeeding can be a very hard thing to do especially when you feel too sick. When you think that you are too sick to breastfeed, you should get medical advice immediately.
If it is possible, you can try to express your breastmilk. This way, you can ask a family member that is not infected to feed the baby. Some mothers might not mind giving the expressed breastfeed in a baby bottle. However, if you worry that the baby might experience nipple confusion, the family member can use a cup and a spoon to feed the baby with the expressed milk.
Of course, you have to follow the 3Ws when expressing your breast milk while the 3Ws must also be followed by the family member when feeding the baby.
While continuing breastfeeding during a pandemic is recommended, breastfeeding might not work for some mothers. When the mother is unable to breastfeed or chooses not to breastfeed, baby formula can be the choice. When you feed the baby with formula, it is important to feed the baby according to the instructions on the product packaging. You can talk to the health care provider or a lactation consultant to find the right formula for your baby.
To protect the baby, you need to pay more attention to any equipment used for preparing the formula for the baby. It means that you have to take extra care when washing the baby bottles, for instance. Do not forget the 3Ws when preparing the formula.