Breastfeeding Awareness 2020: New Jersey Breastfeeding Coalition · Breastfeeding And Covid · Latch Breastfeeding (NJ) · BEA Culture.org (Philadelphia)
Source: Centers For Disease Control (CDC.gov)
Infants who are breastfed have reduced risks of: Asthma, Obesity, Type 1 diabetes, Severe lower respiratory disease, ear infections, Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). and Gastrointestinal infections.
Breastfeeding can help lower a mother’s risk of: High blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, Ovarian cancer, and Breast cancer.
Whether and how to start or continue breastfeeding during a pandemic should be determined by the mother, in coordination with her family and healthcare providers.
Mothers should wear a cloth face covering while feeding at the breast. If expressing breast milk either by hand or with a pump, the mother should clean her hands before touching any pump or bottle parts and wear a cloth face covering. Mothers should be educated about recommendations on how to properly clean and sanitize breast pumps. If possible, expressed breast milk should be fed to the infant by a healthy caregiver who is not at high-risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
Breastfeeding mothers who work in settings with higher risk of potential exposure to SARS-CoV-2, such as healthcare personnel and first responders, should follow the same recommendations outlined above given they may be at higher risk of infection. Ideally, employers would provide breastfeeding employees with a private, non-bathroom space for milk expression.
There is evidence that SARS-CoV-2 remains on surfaces for several hours to days. Mothers may consider additional steps such as these to minimize theoretic potential routes of exposure. Additional information on disinfecting facilities, such as workplace lactation rooms, is available.
An infant being breastfed by a mother who is suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 should be considered as having suspected COVID-19—when the infant’s testing results are not available, for the duration of the mother’s recommended period of home isolation and 14 days thereafter. The same approach should be taken with respect to an infant who has any other ongoing, close contact with another person who has suspected or confirmed COVID-19. Mothers should be counseled to inform their child’s healthcare provider that their child has had high-risk contact with a person suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19.