Breastfeeding protects the baby from illness and helps his or her healthy growth and development. Breastfeeding remains important during the COVID-19 pandemic. Up to six months of age is the only food your child needs. Let’s talk about safe breastfeeding care?
But first, let’s talk a little bit about the process and breastfeeding:
Breastfeeding doesn’t hurt. You may experience slight discomfort for the first week due to nipple tenderness. If you feel pain when the baby is suckling, check the position and way the baby is reaching for the breast. Note that incorrect position and grip cause pain during breastfeeding and can lead to nipple injuries. Below are tips on correct position and grip.
How often does the baby breastfeed? How long does each feed take?
There is no set interval for the baby to breastfeed. The recommendation is on demand, that is, whenever the baby wants. There is also no rule regarding the time of each feeding, the ideal is to let the baby release the breast. Babies usually breastfeed between two and three hours apart.
“-I tested positive for COVID-19 and I need to breastfeed my son. Do you have the virus in my milk? Can I transmit it to him through breastfeeding?”
The new coronavirus was not detected in the breast milk of any confirmed or suspected COVID mothers. So far there are no studies showing that the new coronavirus passes to the baby through breast milk.
However, COVID-19 is transmitted by respiratory droplets. Between feedings, if possible, let another family member without symptoms of COVID-19 take care of the baby, such as burping, changing diapers, bathing, etc.
“-My son has suspicion/confirmation of COVID-19. Can I continue breastfeeding him?”
Breast milk has numerous factors that protect the infant against infection. The new coronavirus has been detected in the stool, if your baby has COVID-19 try to wear gloves when changing diapers during the 14-day period.
You need to protect yourself by wearing a mask when breastfeeding and washing your hands before and after each feed.
“-There are many cases of COVID in the vicinity of my house19, can I breastfeed my baby?”
Continue to breastfeed your child so that he or she grows strong and healthy. Your milk will provide immunity for him against various diseases, in addition to having all the nutrients he needs for the first 6 months of life.
What precautions to take when breastfeeding?
Be sure to follow hand washing guidelines. Your hands should be washed with soap and water before and after touching your baby. You can also use an alcohol-based hand rub. It’s also important to clean and disinfect all surfaces you’ve touched.
The use of gloves reduces the risks that can occur during breastfeeding by 50%, so you and whoever is helping you should wear gloves and masks.
Wash breast milk pumps (if you choose this option), milk storage containers and feeding utensils after each use as usual.
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