It’s a nasty paradox. With the threat of a virus that causes airway infections breastfeeding is even more important than normal. And that just when we all get the advice to minimise close physical contact. Breastfeeding is about as close as it can get.
When feeding a baby it is important to keep the risk of infection as small as possible.
The first and foremost step is proper handwashing, check here for your own favorite song to help you take the time for that. When bottle feeding good hygiene is even more important than normal; frequent sterilising of all equipment and proper preparation of the milk is needed always, and certainly now.
If a parent shows any symptoms, however mild, feeding your baby is a challenge. When a baby is bottlefed (with expressed breastmilk or formula) the feed can be given by a carer that shows no symtoms. For breastfeeding a mouthcover can be effective if available and properly used. Or, in extreme cases, expressed milk can be given.
Breastfeeding is the preferred way to feed your baby during a pandemic like this. And luckily the virus is not transmitted through breastmilk as far as is now known.
But what if you need help with breastfeeding? During my work I get into close physical contact with both mom and baby, even if and when I work hands-off. And it is that kind of close contact that is to be avoided right now.
The coming weeks I will do my very best to work by video-conference: skype/facetime/zoom or whatevere works for you. So if you are considering an appointment please make it. I will then call you to discuss the best way to have a virtual meeting. For example on a moment you have someone with you to handle the camera/phone so I can take as close a look as possible under the circumstances.
Ideal? No. But at the moment it is the safest offer I can make. As soon as the risks have gone down I’ll be happy to see you in person. Until then we’ll use the blessing that is modern technology is under these circumstances.