Information is changing daily regarding COVID-19. This page will serve as a resource for commonly asked questions.
Should I bring my newborn into the office to be seen?
The office continues to be a healthy place for lactation visits. Our lactation providers are only seeing breastfeeding families. Our lactation rooms are only for breastfeeding families. In this time, it is important that your family receives the support they need to resolve any breastfeeding difficulties and establish a healthy breastfeeding relationship.
In the pediatric practice, the office is screening all patients (including the person bringing them to the office) for respiratory, fever and other COVID-19 symptoms by phone prior to their appointment. Families are screened again before entering the office building. All pediatric patients with respiratory symptoms are being cared for in isolated areas outside of the main clinic.
The main clinic is reserved for routine care of healthy families. The rooms are cleaner than they have ever been and there are no toys, books or play equipment in any room. The office is having a monitor stationed at the door to insure that healthy children and their family members are indeed, healthy before coming into the waiting room. And of course, we are doing everything we can to maintain the cleanest environment possible and following all infection prevention protocols.
Can I schedule a tele-health visit?Yes! Telehealth visits are available. If you are uncertain if you need to come into the office, we can start with a tele-health visit and then after discussion decide if an in-person visit is needed.
Some topics that lend themselves to telehealth include:
~ decreased milk supply after a period of full milk supply.
~ pumping tips and tricks
~ breastfeeding education/return to work
~ hand expression
~ bottle refusal
~ mastitis/cracked nipples
~ elimination diets
~ induced lactation
While visits such as engorgement and mastitis may benefit from in-office breast massage and further evaluation, we can start with a telehealth visit and then plan in-office follow-up if needed.
Concerns that are best addressed with an in-office visit include:
~ problems with latch
~ tongue tie/frenotomy
~ concerns for milk transfer
~ persistent breast pain or pain with feeding
~ low milk supply in the early postpartum period
Concerns for your infant’s weight gain ideally need to be evaluated in the office. The person bringing the baby to the office must be free of respiratory symptoms.
I am COVID-19 positive or have symptoms concerning for COVID-19, can I breastfeed?Yes!
While there are only limited studies on women with COVID-19. To date, the virus has not been detected in breast milk though further study is needed. Breast milk provides protection against many illnesses, and given what is known, mothers with COVID-19 can breastfeed.
A mother with confirmed COVID-19, or who is a symptomatic with possible COVID-19, should take all possible precautions to avoid spreading the virus to her infant.
1. Wash your hands before touching the infant
2. Wear a face mask, if possible, while feeding at the breast.
1. Wash your hands before touching any pump or bottle parts and follow CDC recommendations for proper pump cleaning after each use: Click here for more information.
2. If your baby is receiving bottles and it is possible, consider having someone who is well care for and feed the expressed breast milk to the infant.
What do the ABM, AAFP, CDC, and WHO recommend?The recommendations for these organizations include continued breastfeeding while taking precautions with good hand washing and wearing a mask if you have COVID-19. For the most recent specific recommendations see:
The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine(ABM) has released a statement on COVID-19. Click here for the full statement.
The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) in their statement on breastfeeding and COVID-19 “recommends promotion of breastfeeding and parent-infant bonding, and avoidance of parent-infant separation whenever possible.” Click here for the full statement.
The Center of Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) maintains a website on Pregnancy, Breastfeeding and COVID-19. Click here for more information.
The World Health Organization(WHO) has a list of commonly asked questions on Pregnancy, Breastfeeding and Covid-19. Click here to see the site.
Health care professionals often are in a position to discuss concerns with breastfeeding families. Dr. Alison Stuebe highlights the impact of temporary maternal/infant separation in her article “”Should Infants Be Separated from Mothers with COVID-19? First, Do No Harm.” Click here to see the article.
How do I keep my pump parts clean?If you are COVID-19 positive or concerned you maybe symptomatic or are around others who maybe COVID-19 positive (i.e. family members or a health care worker) then be sure when pumping that you wash your hands before touching any pump or bottle parts and follow CDC recommendations for proper pump cleaning after each use. Click here for more information.
The Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute has created an infographic for the handling of milk when a mother is COVID-19 positive. It is available at their website
Can I get the COVID vaccine if I am breastfeeding?As COVID-19 vaccines become available, we are getting questions regarding safety of the vaccine with breastfeeding. At this time, there have not been specific studies on breastfeeding and the vaccines. As with many decisions with COVID-19, you will need to weigh the risks and benefits.
The first round of vaccines will go to those at higher risk of COVID-19. If you are a health care worker, or another individual at high risk, the benefits of the vaccine most likely will outweigh any potential risks. At this time, the vaccines are well tolerated and there is no information to suggest concern for breastfeeding. The Advisory Committee Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends the COVID vaccine be offered to lactating patients similar to non-lactating patients based on prioritization groups outlined by the ACIP. In general, more study is needed.
The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine(ABM) has released a statement on COVID-19 vaccine. Click here for the full statement.
The Center of Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) maintains a website on Pregnancy, Breastfeeding and COVID-19. The CDC states: “Vaccination of pregnant and breastfeeding health care personnel (HCP): Evidence suggests that pregnant women are potentially at increased risk for severe COVID-19-associated illness and death compared to non-pregnant women, underscoring the importance of disease prevention in this population. Given the predominance of women of child-bearing potential among the healthcare workforce, a substantial number of HCP are estimated to be pregnant or breastfeeding at any given time. Currently, there are no data on the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines in these populations to inform vaccine recommendations. Further considerations around use of COVID-19 vaccines in pregnant or breastfeeding HCP will be provided once data from phase III clinical trials and conditions of FDA Emergency Use Authorization are reviewed.” Click here for more information.
The Advisory Committee Immunization Practices (ACIP) discussion on COVID-19 vaccine including that at the time “that breastfeeding would not be a contraindication to receipt of a COVID-19 vaccine.”
Click here to see the site.
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