Idaho Breastfeeding coalition (IBC) position statement on breastfeeding
and covid 19
Dear IBC Community,
With the recent events surrounding the COVID 19 virus, the Idaho Breastfeeding Coalition has taken an official stance on recommendations for breastfeeding families as guided by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics), La Leche League, UN and the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine.
In light of the proven benefits of human milk for human infants, we are carefully aligning our recommendations with those of governing bodies from both public health and breastfeeding communities with the understanding that new information is developing day by day.
Providing mothers’ milk to children is one of the best preventative methods and protective methods for babies and breastfeeding children from any virus, including COVID 19. We encourage families to stay informed and to actively participate in informed decision making with their healthcare providers especially if symptomatic or an active case during breastfeeding arises.
In non-infected mothers, continuing to breastfeed while using standard health precautions (such as frequent hand washing, covering cough and cleaning high touch surfaces) is recommended.
If a breastfeeding mother is symptomatic or tests positive for COVID 19 she may choose to continue direct breastfeeding while wearing a mask, washing hands before and after contact with the child and cleaning/disinfecting contaminated surfaces as recommended by Le Leche League and the UN position statements on COVID 19, or she may choose to express milk and have a non-symptomatic/non-infected person feed mother’s milk to the child as recommended by the CDC, American Academy of Pediatrics and American Breastfeeding Academy of Medicine. These organizations also recognize that use of a mask by the infected mother during feedings along with good hand hygiene and limited close contact during active symptoms may be acceptable for direct breastfeeding.
We encourage families to reach out to their healthcare provider and lactation consultant for support as needed during this time. Providing breastmilk during times of community acquired illness is crucial to protect infant health.