Should I Keep Breastfeeding During the Coronavirus Outbreak?

In a word, YES!

Parents and caregivers are rightly concerned about keeping their babies safe as coronavirus becomes a global health issue- read on to learn how your amazing breastmilk protects your baby from illnesses!

The CDC states that breastmilk as the best source of nutrition for infants, and protects against many illnesses.  

The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine says that “there are rare exceptions when breastfeeding or feeding expressed breast milk is not recommended.”  

According to UNICEF, mothers can continue breastfeeding.

These guidelines are being updated often, as more is learned about how COVID-19 is spread. Continue to check back for current guidance for breastfeeding families.  

Your breastmilk is an amazing substance: It contains antibodies to illnesses you may be exposed to, and helps your baby fight them off. 

Human milk provides your baby with the best possible protection against disease.  It’s packed with living cells that prevent infection, and the free fatty acids in human milk are antiviral. 

Proteins in human milk are antimicrobial and stimulate baby’s immune system. Even the carbohydrates in breastmilk have a role in fighting pathogens like bacteria, viruses and fungi.

We can help you protect your breastfeeding relationship, milk production, and your baby’s health. Call us today for support!  Now offering virtual visits.

Breastfeeding and Coronavirus- Keeping You Safe

Breastfeeding and Coronavirus- Keeping You Safe

Even as the Coronavirus crisis spreads globally and is changing how we go about our lives, families continue to need support in feeding their babies. As International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs), we work with vulnerable populations. You and your baby’s health & well being is our top priority. This is what we are doing to ensure the safety of your family during home or office visits:

 

  1. We thoroughly clean and disinfect all supplies and equipment (breast pumps, scales) and surfaces using an EPA- approved sanitizer. We also disinfect our electronic devices used for documentation before each visit.
  2. We are spacing our office visits further apart, to allow time for increased cleaning, and to reduce interaction between clients.
  3. Upon entering our office, everyone must use hand sanitizer before touching any surfaces.  We will soon be implementing thermoscan temperature screening for all who enter our office.
  4. We will move families directly into an exam room as soon as possible, rather than have them wait in a shared waiting area.
  5. We ask that when making an appointment for an office or home visit, if any of your family members have had recent travels outside of the country in areas where the virus is endemic, please keep us informed.  If any family members have symptoms such as coughing, fever and/or runny nose, please inform us so we may all make prudent decisions.
  6. Prior to the start of all home and office visits, and between clients, as always, we wash our hands with soap and water.
  7. Our staff will stay home if experiencing any symptoms of illness.
  8. We are offering virtual visits, so families can continue to get the support they need while staying safe at home.  Many insurance companies are providing coverage for virtual visits during this situation- please contact your insurance provider for details on what your plan covers.  We are also happy to contact your insurance company to clarify telehealth benefits.
  9. We will teach you proper sterilization methods to use on pumping and feeding supplies.

 

Information about COVID-19 (Coronavirus) transmission is emerging daily. The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine has best practice recommendations for breastfeeding and breastmilk handling both at home and in the hospital. Please consult resources such as the CDC and the WHO for the most recent guidance.

With the proper precautions, we can continue to help parents breastfeed, use expressed breast milk, and maintain milk production, while staying safe and healthy.

With thanks to Karolina Ochoa, IBCLC

 

What Can a Lactation Consultant Do for Me?

What Can a Lactation Consultant Do for Me?

“What can a lactation consultant do for me?”  In order to answer that question, I’d ask you “how many different opinions and pieces of advice have you received so far regarding the right way to feed your new baby?”  If you answered “more than one”, then scheduling a consultation is for you!

Of course, there’s truly not one right way to breastfeed, but several different ways determined by a variety of factors specific to mom and baby. Lactation consultants (and by the way, we’re all either board-certified-IBCLC’s, or board-eligible) can help you answer all your questions by spending an entire hour with you, baby, and your partner (or even the grandmother, nanny, or postpartum doula!). Everybody helping mom is welcome to come take part in this important visit.

All you need bring is your baby, a swaddling blanket, a bottle of water for yourself, and a list of your questions (or your partner’s questions). The consultant will watch a latch or teach you to latch. She can help you determine how often to feed baby or pump based on baby’s weight and your milk supply. She will also discuss helping you get into a routine to ensure baby gains about an ounce a day from day three onward. With a hospital grade scale, they can even do pre- and post-feed weights (meaning the baby is weighed, you feed and they baby is weighed again). They will address any nipple soreness, teach you comfortable positioning, decipher cluster feeding (meaning feeding ALL the time), and teach you new burping techniques. Maybe you need help with having too much milk or not enough milk; maybe it’s time to wean or baby is simply chomping like a little shark…..this is all part of what they can do for you.

You can rent a hospital grade pump or scale, buy the perfect feeding bottle for your baby, get the best nipple cream or purchase a littlebeam breastfeeding pillow. If you’d rather bring your own supplies, that works too. The responsibility of the consultant is to help you achieve your breastfeeding goals. If you’ve decided to feed both breastmilk and formula, you won’t find any judgement or arm twisting….it’s all about you.

Even if you think breastfeeding is going fairly well, there’s always a trick or two the lactation consultants will be able to teach you. Alternatively, they can offer reassurance that both you and baby are amazingly in sync! Partners are also usually happy to pick up tips on how they can help mom.

So, feel free to getting touch with us- you’ll be on your way to feeling confident on your breastfeeding journey!  Most all private insurances accepted for home and office visits, and we have several convenient locations throughout the DC area, including Northern Virginia at TPG Pediatrics, Columbia, MD and Bethesda, MD. Please call Metropolitan Breastfeeding at 301-943-9293 to schedule today!