What Are the Implications of Breastfeeding During COVID-19?
The COVID-19 wave is no longer news, and everyone across the world has been doing well to protect themselves and others from it. There have been concerns about COVID and breastfeeding mothers. You may want to ask, how or why your baby will get infected with COVID-19. Babies need breast milk, so breastfeeding is essential. Although it is established that breastfeeding is safe at this time, there`s still a need for safety measures, whether or not you have any symptoms of the Coronavirus disease.
Most breastfeeding mothers and pregnant women have asked if the SARS-CoV-2 passes into breast milk. Although research is limited, researchers haven’t yet found SARS-CoV-2 in breast milk. This might be a relief, but that does not mean you shouldn’t take the necessary precautions.
Studies show that SARS-CoV-2 is spread through tiny droplets in the air when a person carrying the virus coughs, sneezes, or talks. It can take days before any symptoms show in some people, making them even pass the virus before knowing that they carry it. Two case studies were carried out in China, with reports that the new coronavirus wasn’t found in the breast milk of the women who got ill with COVID-19 in their last trimester. They both had healthy babies who weren’t infected with the coronavirus. The study says that the mothers isolated themselves and avoided any form of skin contact with their newborn babies until they fully recovered. These studies aren`t enough to arrive at any conclusion just yet. You should put a call through to your doctor to tell if you have any symptoms and know whether to breastfeed your baby.
Consequently, there are new guidelines for breastfeeding at such a time as this. Despite the claim that breastfeeding mothers can’t pass on SARS-CoV-2 virus through their breast milk, they can still pass it via droplets from the mouth and nose or by touch.
5 COVID-19 Preventive Measures for Breastfeeding Mothers
Pump Breast Milk
Before you pump, wash your hands and clean all areas of your skin that the breast pump will touch. After pumping, give it to a family member or a partner to feed your baby. Sterilize the bottle completely by putting it in boiled water while feeding.
Wear a Mask
You`re probably used to wearing one only when you`re out of the house. Ensure that you wear a mask while breastfeeding your baby, whether you have the symptoms or not. This is essential in protecting your baby from coronavirus.
Washing your Hands Regularly
We cannot overemphasize the importance of washing your hands. Always make sure you wash your hands carefully before touching your baby. You should also wash your hands before and after you pick up your baby or your baby`s items.
Prepare Baby Formula
If you`re ill or exposed to COVID-19, instead of breastfeeding, prepare formula for your baby and sterilize baby bottles often.
Coronavirus can survive on some surfaces for up to 48-72 hours. Use an alcohol-based cleaner to disinfect anything you’ve touched, including surfaces, bottles, and the likes.
Here`s How to Care for your Breasts
Consume Fruits and Vegetables
Consuming lots of fruits and vegetables will help reduce the risk of estrogen-receptor-negative breast tumors, particularly because these fruits and vegetables are rich in carotenoids. Beyond preventing breast cancer, these nutrients are great for overall breast health.
Women who exercise regularly will shrink the size of fat cells, making their bodies pump out less estrogen. Getting at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise weekly will do your breasts some good. There are a number of exercises you can do. You can get your muscles working by hopping on a bike or doing some cardio.
Eat Dark Grapes
Grapes are rich in resveratrol, an antioxidant that can protect your cells from cancer and improve your heart health.
Get Adequate Sleep
Inadequate sleep suppresses melatonin levels and consequently affects your overall health and breast health in particular. You`re advised to get about seven to eight hours of sleep every night to be healthy.
Do Self Examinations
Always check the looks and feel of your breasts at different times. That way, you can easily know if there are changes. Be sure to discuss your observations with your doctor.
Amazing Breastfeeding Facts
- If the mother or baby is sick, the number of antibodies and white blood cells in the breastmilk increases to fight off infection.
- Breastmilk contains more serotonin towards the end of the day to enhance sleep.
- The brain of breastfeeding mothers releases prolactin and oxytocin, which are great for bonding with their babies.
- A newborn can only see clearly in focus 8 to 15 inches away from their face, which makes them see their moms during nursing and enhance the bond
- Babies have a well-developed sense of smell, which helps them identify the smell of their mother`s breastmilk.
- Breastfed babies are less likely to get respiratory, ear, and gastrointestinal infections.
- Male children consume more breast milk than their female counterparts.
- You`re advised to pump breastmilk an hour after your baby’s first morning feed.
- Some babies are born with a tongue-tie that hinders breastfeeding. They may need a frenectomy to correct this.
- If you`re having issues pumping breast milk, take a few deep breaths and look at a picture or video of your baby. These may help.
- Breastfeeding reduces the risk of osteoporosis, heart disease, and certain cancers
- Studies show that breastfeeding a girl child reduces her risk of having breast cancer by 25%.
- Every year, exclusive breastfeeding saves US families about $2,000 Dollars, which is the cost of formula.
- Breastfeeding helps mothers heal faster in postpartum.
- Breastfeeding helps the uterus return to pre-pregnancy size faster and lowers overall postpartum blood loss.
- Breastfeeding helps moms return to the pre-baby weight.
- It takes 1000 calories a day on average to produce breast milk. This is why breastfeeding moms are advised to consume an extra 500 calories a day.
- Breast milk production takes up 25% of the body’s energy.
- About 75% of mothers produce more milk in their right breast, whether they are right- or left-handed.
- Breast milk contains substances that improve sleep and calmness in babies.
- Breastfeeding calms mothers and helps them bond better with their babies.
- Breastfed babies are at lower risk for sudden infant death syndrome.
- The breasts can detect slight fluctuations in babies` body temperature and adjust as required.
- It became legal to breastfeed in public across all 50 states in the US.
- In the first few days after birth, breasts produce colostrum, which is nutrient-rich milk full of calcium, proteins, minerals, and antibodies that babies require in their first few days of life.
- Breastfeeding reduces babies’ risk of cavities.
- Breastfed babies are less likely to use braces later.
- Over 80% of babies in the US start out breastfeeding.
- Only 25% of moms practice exclusive breastfeeding.
- The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends breastfeeding until age two.
Now that you Know…
Breast milk can help your child fight against several kinds of illnesses because it serves as a form of protection against some viruses and bacteria, even though it is temporary.
Different vaccines will come after they’ve outgrown breast milk to give them maximum protection against various contagious diseases. As much as possible protect them against the possible contraction of COVID-19 by taking the necessary preventive measures.