Coronavirus Resources for Breastfeeding Families
Lactation Support During the Coronavirus Pandemic
We are continuing to offer virtual consults and in-home lactation consults during the coronavirus pandemic. Breastfeeding is essential to the health and well being of mothers and babies, and it's never more important than during times of crisis or health emergencies. Breastfeeding provides food security. It is always readily available without needing a trip to the store or worrying about a shortage of formula. Breastfeeding is also psychologically protective for both mother and baby, as it provides hormones that promote relaxation and bonding during stressful times.
If mother contracts COVID-19, breastfeeding provides the infant valuable antibodies and protection. Past studies have found that formula-fed infants have triple the risk of being hospitalized if they have a respiratory illness. Although current reports indicate few infants are being hospitalized due to COVID-19, it would be expected that formula-fed babies are being disproportionately affected. For this reason, the World Health Organization urges all families to prioritize breastfeeding if possible.
If you are experiencing any kind of infant feeding difficulty, please don't put off getting help. We are ready to support you now more than ever. Feeding your baby in a way that promotes the well being of the whole family is a worthy priority. Here are some steps we are taking to ensure the health of all the families we support:
Keeping Families Home
By offering home visits and virtual consults, families are not coming in contact with the germs that would be found in a hospital outpatient clinic or office. We are removing office consults from our online schedule, though families outside our travel area are still welcome to reach out to us directly for scheduling in our office (info@LKNBreastfeedingSolutions.com). We want to keep you safely nesting at home as much as possible.
Extra Sanitization Measures
During the pandemic, we will be taking extra steps to ensure the sanitization of everything we bring into your home, including wearing masks, taking our shoes off, and wiping down our scale and other essential items with sanitizers. As always, we will wash our hands before working with you and wear gloves during infant exams. If any of our lactation consultants are symptomatic, they will contact you ahead of time and help you reschedule with another lactation consultant.
Virtual Consults for Families with Illness
If anyone in your household has known exposure to COVID-19 or has a cough or fever, we ask that you reach out to us ahead of time so we can change your appointment type from a home visit to a virtual consult. Breastfeeding support is essential to the well being of a family even during a health crisis, and we would love to provide you video based support. We can assist with topics such as how to maintain milk supply during sickness, safe medications for breastfeeding mothers, strategies for reducing mother-baby transmission, tips for enhancing your rest, and guidance to ensure baby is thriving nutritionally.
According to the CDC, less than 1% of deaths have been in children under 1 year
A Word of Encouragement
Finally, we want to reassure you that the risk of serious illness for mothers and babies exposed to coronavirus is low. Although the media loves to draw attention to isolated anecdotal stories of infants who contracted coronavirus, these handful of cases represent about 1 in 1,000,000. In other words, your child is at much higher risk of suffering from RSV or SIDS than COVID-19. Most of the above precautions are primarily out of concern for spreading the virus to vulnerable members of the community such as grandparents. Grandparents should postpone their visit until the time of social distancing is past. To read learn more about breastfeeding and coronavirus please see the World Health Organization's recommendations on breastfeeding and coronavirus, the International Lactation Consultant Association's guidelines, and the La Leche League's website.
We are here for you. Please let us know how we can help.