Frequently asked Questions in COVID 19 and Infant Feeding
Q1 How is breastfeeding important in the present health emergency?
A) Breastfeeding is the normal and optimal feed for your baby. A baby on breastfeeds will have good immunity and will thrive better. B) Breastfeeding is food security, ie When breastfeeding you will not have to go out in search of formula/ animal milk for your baby. C) Breastfeeding mothers generally are healthier than non breastfeeding mothers.
Q2 What are the precautions necessary when I take my newborn baby home?
A)Have a strict no visitors rule.
B)Social distancing is a must. Stay in as much as you can.
C)Give your baby maximum skin to skin/ body to body contact. D)Wear a mask and practice careful hand hygiene if due to some urgent work you have to go out.
E)Breastfeed your baby, if you are having challenges breastfeeding, urgently reach out to someone who can help you with an online /in person consult.
Q3 What happens if I do not get healthy balanced meals / dry fruits/ milk etc during lock down?
As long as you are getting regular meals it is OK. Your milk amount and quality depends on how well and efficiently your baby suckles at your breast.It does not matter if you are not getting special foods.Please avoid going out to search for special food items.
Q4 What happens if I feel I have less milk or my baby is not satisfied at breast.
Breast milk insufficiency is extremely rare.Most of the times it is due to incorrect or ineffective suckling at breast. If a baby is suckling at a large part of the breast , he / she should be able to satisfy him/herself and it will not be painful. Reach out for an urgent online
lactation consult if you have nipple pain/ baby stays dissatisfied or baby takes hours to feed.
Q5 Can women with cough cold / symptoms resembling COVID 19 / or those who have confirmed COVID 19 breastfeed?
Yes. Everyone should breastfeed irrespective of their COVID status. Breastfeeding is of vital importance for the baby and mother. If someone is COVID positive,they should, in addition:
- Practice respiratory hygiene during feeding, wearing a mask where available.
- Wash hands before and after touching the baby;
- Routinely clean and disinfect surfaces they have touched.Q6 Can I touch and hold my newborn baby if I have COVID 19?Yes. As per WHO, Close contact and early, exclusive breastfeeding helps a baby to thrive. You should be supported to
- Breastfeed safely, with good respiratory hygiene;
- Hold your newborn skin-to-skin, and
- Share a room with your baby
You should wash your hands before and after touching your baby, and keep all surfaces clean.
Q7 I am a breastfeeding mother can I take the COVID vaccine?
Yes, and continue feeding your baby as usual.
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Author : Dr Shacchee Baweja Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) Click here for Online consultations