It has been two years since the Corona Virus swept through the world and and new strains have appeared. This Pandemic is exhausting, stressful and brings many challenges for everyone, ESPECIALLY MOMS!! During these unprecedented times many women became pregnant, labored, and are now caring for their newborns in a Pandemic. The contagious nature of the Omicron strain has brought an increase in Covid positive tests. Parents of newborns want to know how to keep their baby safe if they contract Covid. Here are the answers to some of your questions.
Can I still breastfeed my baby if I test positive for Covid?
Per CDC guidelines the answer to this breastfeeding question is, yes. Your baby is still obtaining immunity through your milk and it is safe and recommended to continue nursing and pumping. If you do contract Covid, guidelines for feeding, via both breast and bottle, include most of what we do with newborn care already, but specifically:
- Wear a mask at all times around your baby.
- Isolate from the rest of the family.
- Care for your newborn if you are feeling able to do so. If not, have a healthy caregiver care for them and pump.
- Frequent and diligent hand washing for at least 20 seconds.
- Wash your hands before you pick your baby up, change diapers, or touch anything used for nursing (such as nipple shields or a Haakaa).
- Wash your hands before touching breast pump parts, bottle parts, and preparing formula.
- Clean and sterilize pump parts after each session.
- Any family members with positive results, isolate and wear a mask when within six feet of a newborn.
If I contract Covid, will the virus transfer to my baby via breast milk?
The most recent and evidence based answer to this question, as of right now is, no. It was most recently tested and addressed in a study published in the Journal of Neonatal Nursing by Webber et al., 2022. Their data showed that the virus was neither transferred nor transmitted from a mother who tested positive for Covid -19 to her baby during breastfeeding. They examined the milk of mothers infected and positive for Covid. Their data found no evidence that the virus was passed or transmitted to their baby when breastfeeding. They went on to suggest that mothers who contract Covid may offer potential benefits for their baby by continuing to breastfeed.
How do I keep my infant safe if I have a toddler or older siblings?
- If you have a toddler and newborn at home, consult your pediatrician for their recommendations around having the toddler attend daycare/ childcare.
- Try to encourage hand washing with younger children and toddlers as often as possible for at least 20 seconds.
- Avoid having siblings, or any one for that matter, kiss your newborn on the mouth.
- Limit visitors for now, until the numbers start to go down, and use your own judgment in doing what feels right for you and your family.
Boston Baby Nurse & Nanny takes the spread of Covid very seriously. All of our Newborn Care Experts and Nannies are given a free Covid-19 Caregiver Training. In addition, all of our newborn care experts, lactation consultants, and sleep consultants wear masks to keep you safe.
About The Author
Olivia Wojcik, RN graduated Summa Cum Laude. In addition, she is an IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant), Newborn Educator, Newborn Care Expert, Sleep Consultant, and level 2 reiki practitioner. Olivia has experience with a vast range of newborn care both in the hospital, outpatient, and community settings, specializing in newborn care, breastfeeding support, and education from birth through twenty-four months. Olivia is passionate about supporting family members as they welcome their baby into the world, as it is both an exciting and challenging transition. She prides herself on the compassionate, direct, and supportive role she plays in helping families find their way together. Olivia listens well to each family’s specific needs and goals, feeding related and more. It’s evident how much she truly enjoys guiding parents to achieve their goals.