There are many unknowns when it comes to COVID-19 but nursing mothers likely have one big question: Is it safe to feed my child, especially after being exposed to the virus?
The coronavirus has turned the medical world on its head, but professionals at the CDC have worked hard to provide researched, honest information for expecting, new, and seasoned mothers. To answer the titular question: YES, you can continue to breastfeed your child in the midst of this pandemic.
If you have tested positive for COVID-19 or you have been exposed to someone positive for COVID-19, you will need to quarantine for the recommended length of time, per the CDC (usually 14 days). During this time, you are safe to breastfeed. The following three steps are recommended for nursing mothers:
- Wash your hands before touching your child
- Wear a mask while feeding your child
- Clean and sanitize breast pump (if using one)
It is also important that you do not share breast pump equipment. If your child has been exposed, mothers may follow the same guidelines above; however, do not put a mask on a child under the age of 2. If you and your child have been exposed to or diagnosed with COVID-19, quarantine at home and breastfeed as normal.
For more information pertaining to breastfeeding and COVID-19 check out the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website.