Are you questioning whether you should breastfeed during the COVID-19 aka Cornonavirus pandemic? If this pandemic would have happened during my 5 years total of breastfeeding (6 kids-twins incl :) ) I would've raised an eyebrow as well! There have already been several articles, blogs, videos, of medical and non-medical professionals expressing their concerns or not, about the effect that Covid-19 has on breastfeeding. Here what's going on.
Since Covid-19 is considered a new virus that has scientists scrambling trying to find the ins & outs of it, updates are on a daily basis. But, that is NOT comforting to women who are pregnant. We all know that during pregnancy, it's all about the preparation of the future with a new life to take care of in 10 months or less. That's not much time to plan for the newborns future. Mothers want to know and they want to know now!
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended mothers worldwide to exclusively breastfeed infants for the baby's first 6 months to achieve optimal growth, development, & health. They also recommend that babies should be given nutritious complementary foods & continue breastfeeding up to the age of 2 years or more. During this Coronavirus pandemic, WHO encourages moms to breastfeed or continue to do so as planned. It may be shocking for some to hear but. WHO also encourages mothers who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 to also continue breastfeeding.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) before Covid-19 agreed with The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) that suggests exclusive breastfeeding for about 6 months, & then continuing breastfeeding while introducing complementary baby food until the baby is 12 months old or older. As of now, the CDC in temporarily advising if starting or continuing to breastfeed should be determined by the mother with her family and healthcare providers. The CDC has a vague statement due to decisions changing rapidly with state & local health departments' local circumstances.
The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine (ABM) made up of physicians worldwide that
claim to promotion, protection, & support breastfeeding has weighed in on what they believe breastfeeding mothers should do. Based on the CDC and WHO recommendations, ABA is also agreeing that any mother who have been diagnosed or systematic should continue breastfeeding their baby even in the hospital by taking some extra precautionary measures.
With all the organizations put together, it has been determined that:
1) If mom doesn't have any symptoms & doesn't have Covid-19 than she should continue as usual.
2) If mom does have symptoms & does have Covid-19 than she should breastfeed with precautions.
Because of the updates upon updates, take it easy on yourself to sit back, take a breath, & think about what's best for you & baby in the present as well as in the future. With so many long-lasting benefits that breastfeeding offers to mommy & baby, "To Breastfeed or Naw?" is not a question to be taken lightly.
So, yes still add breastfeeding to your birth plan & still continue to breastfeed. Mothers have a heighten intuition. Meaning, you know what's best at the end of the day when it comes to giving your child the best care possible. Use it.
Share your thoughts & opinions below. It may encourage another mother, Prego to Prego. Happy Nurturing!