16. Breastfeeding during the covid-19 pandemic? - Here's what you need to know to stay safe
Are you wondering… Is it safe to get the covid-19 vaccine while breastfeeding? Is it safe to breastfeed after testing positive for covid-19? What if my breastfed child tests positive for covid-19?
The short answer is YES! You can and should continue breastfeeding, even with positive test results.
Listen to this episode to learn all you need to know to keep yourself and your breastfed baby safe after a positive covid-19 test.
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FULL EPISODE TRANSCRIPTION:
Hey, hey, welcome to the better postpartum podcast. I’m your host, Angel Swan, crunchy Christian mama to one and postpartum doula to many. I help moms care for their bodies, minds and newborns naturally during the first three months after birth. If you’re looking for pro tips on how to nurture your body naturally after childbirth, take care of your newborn baby using crunchy mama methods and help your whole family thrive during the fourth trimester, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve got a lot to cover. So let’s dive in. I’ll see you inside the episode. Hey, hey, today, we are going to be talking all about COVID and breastfeeding. So a question that comes up a lot in breastfeeding support groups that I see is, is it safe to get the COVID-19 vaccine while breastfeeding. So unfortunately, the data on this is pretty limited. It’s all very new so that we really don’t have enough data for it to be conclusive. But the good news is that the COVID vaccine is an mRNA vaccine, which is a type of a DNA. So it’s an mRNA vaccine. And these types of vaccines are not thought to be a risk to a breastfeeding infant. So it’s generally considered to be safe for breastfeeding moms to be vaccinated. So I personally am still breastfeeding, and I do plan on getting my vaccine when it becomes available to me. And I think that the benefits of getting vaccinated for COVID-19 Highly outweigh the risks. And in my professional opinion, you definitely should be vaccinated for the Coronavirus if it’s possible. Alright, now that we have the vaccine talk out of the way, let’s move on. So is it safe to breastfeed after testing positive for COVID-19? Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. So the CDC recommendations for safe breastfeeding are to a wash your hands before you touch your baby. Wear cloth face covering if possible while feeding at the breast. Wash your hands before touching your pump or bottle parts and clean all parts after use. These are all straight from the CDC website. So anytime you are interested in learning more, just remember, you can hop on over to the CDC website and read more about there. It is important to note as of December 3 2020, according to the CDC, breast milk is not a likely source of COVID-19 transmission. So that’s great news. And if you’re donating milk or using donor milk, you’ll be relieved to know that COVID-19 is rendered inactive by the process of pasteurization. So typically, if you’re donating through a milk bank, they do pasteurize your milk. So well, breast milk is not a likely source of transmission of the virus, you have this extra protection of pasteurization. Now I really loved how the CDC broke down specific common scenarios and questions that breastfeeding moms have been running into, and they give really clear safety guidelines on how to handle each of these situations. So I just want to relay that information to you now, I basically taking the information from the CDC website and summarizing it for you in a little bit less clinical language. So it’s important to note though, with each of these scenarios, anyone who will be in close contact with someone who’s tested positive for the Coronavirus should self isolate for at least 14 days or as long as the recommended quarantine period for the person who did test positive. So let’s just jump into scenario number one. breastfeeding mom has a suspected or confirmed Coronavirus, but her rasa child does not have COVID-19. So, the recommendation here is to for the mom to practice self isolation at home for at least 14 days both breastfeeding mom and child it is safe to continue breastfeeding, but you should definitely take extra precautions for the safety of your breastfed child. So wash your hands with soap and water before touching your baby to nurse or before expressing milk by hand or by breast pump. And if you can’t wash your hands, it’s recommended that you use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. You should wear a mask when you’re within six feet of your baby This includes while you’re nursing or feeding from a bottle and I keep saying baby but this is also a child because I know that we have some extended breastfeeding mamas on here too.
You also need to clean and sanitize your breast pump and parts after each use. So sanitize is the important part here I’m it’s very clear that you’re supposed to wash your pump parts and you’re bottles after each use but you don’t usually have to sanitize after each one. When you have tested positive for Coronavirus, you need to sanitize after each use as well, just as that extra precaution to protect your child. Now, if you do have Coronavirus and you don’t feel well enough to hold your baby and feed them, then you might want to have a trusted caregiver feed your baby instead for the duration of your quarantine. This is really hard you guys and this caregiver should not be at high risk meaning they’re generally healthy, they don’t have all the extra risk factors that would cause him to possibly be severely severely ill if they catch the Coronavirus. That caregiver should also wear a mask for the duration of quarantine, while feeding your baby in while within six feet of anyone in the home especially if they do not live in the home. If people are coming into your home, who do not normally live with you, everybody should be masking up just for your protection in theirs. Okay, next scenario. So the breastfed child has suspected or confirmed COVID-19. But the breastfeeding mom does not the same home isolation guidelines apply. So as the breastfeeding parent, you should also quarantine yourself at home alone with your child for at least 14 days. Due to the danger of suffocation. It’s not recommended for children under the age of two years old to wear a mask. So if your babies under two years, they can go mask free for their safety. And then the same safety guidelines apply like wearing a mask. When in close contact or frequent hand washing with soap and water, washing sanitizing parts and bottles after each use. All of that still applies. Now for the third scenario, both the breastfeeding mom and her child have suspected or confirmed COVID 19. Again, the same home isolation period of 14 days applies to mom and baby. And if you’re both positive for COVID, you actually don’t need to take all the extra precautions like wearing a mask or sanitizing your pump parts and bottles after each use because you’re both already contaminated. Now, if you or your child have possibly been in close contact with someone who is positive for COVID, or suspected to have COVID. It is recommended that you practice safe home isolation for 14 days and to monitor yourself and your child for any symptoms. If you or your child need to be seen by a healthcare professional, always, always always let them know of your situation. You know, did you test positive for COVID? Do you think that you have COVID? Have either of you had any symptoms within the last few days? Have you been exposed to someone who’s suspected or confirmed COVID-19. And then based on the information that you provide, your healthcare team can help you get the care that you need in the safest way possible for everyone involved. I highly, highly highly, highly encourage you that you head to the CDC website and read the full article that they have up on breastfeeding with COVID. I will link to that article in the episode description. It’s always a good idea to just keep logging on to the CDC website for any updates that they have. As far as safety protocols and things like that. Keep yourself in the know check the website often, you know the world is going to heal from this. And we’re going to heal from this much sooner if we all do our part and practice the safety precautions laid out by our trusted scientists and doctors who are working with COVID-19 firsthand. So let’s make our jobs easier. Okay. Let’s keep ourselves our friends and our families safe. Be smart. And hang in there. I know that this is not easy. I know that self isolating is really really hard. Reach out to friends online, make new friends online coming out with me online. I’d love to meet you and talk to you. But just be smart. You know, we’re all in this together. We’ll all get through it faster. If we all do our part. Thank you so much for listening. Stay safe out there. I will see you next week.
Hey lady, thank you so much for hanging out with me today. I hope you enjoyed this episode. And if you did, would you do me a huge favor and rate and review this podcast. The more ratings we get the more moms we can help. If you want to get more postpartum tips and encouragement, subscribe to this podcast and hang out with me online. You can read my blog at postpartum companion.com/blog. Hang out with me on Instagram at postpartum companion. And join my free Facebook group called the better Postpartum Support Group. If you have your own postpartum story that you’d like to share, head on over to postpartum companion.com/podcast and submit an application to be on the air. Thanks again for listening and be sure to subscribe and meet me back here next week. Have a blessed day and don’t forget to pray. Bye bye now.