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Guidance for Breastfeeding Mothers

Guidance for Breastfeeding Mothers Who are at Home

Breast milk provides protection against many illnesses and is the best source of nutrition for most infants. Information about the rare contraindications to breastfeeding can be found here.

We do not know for sure if mothers with COVID-19 can spread the virus to babies in their breast milk, but the limited data available suggest this is not likely. You, along with your family and healthcare providers, should decide whether and how to start or continue breastfeeding.

A breastfeeding mother who has or may have infection with COVID-19 should take all possible precautions to avoid spreading the virus to her infant, including washing her hands before touching the infant and wearing a face mask while feeding at the breast. If possible, a healthy caregiver who does not have COVID-19, is not at high risk for severe illness from COVID-19, and is living in the same home, should provide care for the infant between breastfeeding sessions.

A mother who chooses to feed expressed breast milk to her infant should wear a cloth face covering during expression. She should wash her hands before touching any pump or bottle parts and before and after expressing breast milk. She should follow recommendations for proper pump cleaning after each use, cleaning all parts that come into contact with breast milk. If possible, the expressed milk should be fed to the infant by a healthy caregiver who does not have COVID-19, is not at high risk for severe illness from COVID-19, and is living in the same home. Information on breast pump cleaning can be found here.

For the most up-do-date information about recommendations for breastfeeding during the COVID-19 pandemic, please see information from the CDC found below. 

For more information about SUNY Upstate’s response to COVID-19 please visit Upstate Emergency Management below:

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