Should You Breastfeed if You Have the Coronavirus?

Should You Breastfeed if You Have the Coronavirus?

“Based on everything we’ve seen so far, I would think that the chances that the virus is in milk at a high load are probably very slim,” said Lars Bode, Ph.D., the director of the Mother-Milk-Infant Center of Research Excellence at U.C. San Diego. “But we want to rule out that that’s actually not the case.”

Those wishing to participate in the study can learn more at the website Mommy’s Milk, Dr. Bode said.

If you are pumping your milk instead of breastfeeding, wash your hands before touching any pump or bottle parts and make sure to clean the pump parts thoroughly by following the C.D.C.’s recommendations for proper pump cleaning.

Getting lactation help at home during the coronavirus pandemic is challenging, given that everyone is expected to maintain at least six feet of distance from one another.

“We feel for you, and we are trying our best,” said Freda Rosenfeld, a certified lactation consultant in Brooklyn with 30 years of experience.

Rosenfeld advises women against doing any in-person home visits with lactation consultants and said women ought to use Skype or a similar type of video platform when receiving guidance.

“It’s not perfect, but at least it’s a tool in this difficult time,” she said.

Providing guidance over video makes it more difficult for a lactation consultant to do her job, Rosenfeld acknowledged, because she cannot physically touch the mother or infant, nor can she weigh the baby.

“Not being able to do that is exceedingly painful for me,” she added.

In addition to using video, Rosenfeld is advising mothers to buy inexpensive scales online, if they can. These scales will not offer the same accuracy as the type of scale that lactation consultants typically use. But if they are used to weigh the baby every two or three days, and the baby is eating enough, parents should see an increase in the baby’s weight, Rosenfeld said.


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