Coronavirus and pregnancy/breastfeeding (and some things to do at home to pass the time with the littles…)

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Hello Sunday (it’s not quite Monday yet…but I figured this was best shared sooner than later!) I hope the weekend finds everyone well and not too stir crazy if you had to be at home. Are you guys working? At home per local or governor recommendations?

Most of Alaska has been advised to stay at home and schools are closed through May 1st. We’re feeling it here in the Last Frontier too. Hang in there everyone and wash your hands.

Today, we’re chatting coronavirus and what we know about the virus with relation to pregnancy or breastfeeding. As a mama that still breastfeeds her toddler a few times a day, I’m keeping one ear alert for studies that come through examining the virus, pregnancy or breastfeeding. I expect there to be a good number of studies as the cases increase in the United States; if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or trying to become pregnant in the next year, keep an ear to the ground as well.

So, what do we know? These recommendations are from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC]:

Coronavirus (COVID-19) and pregnancy

  • What COVID-19 precautions should pregnant women take?
    • The precautions for pregnant women are the same for the general public (wash your hands, cover your cough, stay home if you are sick…).
  • What happens if I get COVID-19 and I am pregnant?
    • In short, we don’t know if COVID-19 infection during pregnancy can be passed to the baby or cause harm to the baby. Of the few cases of pregnant women that tested positive for COVID-19, the infants did not test positive for COVID-19. Additionally, the mother’s amniotic fluid or breastmilk did not test positive for COVID-19. Although only a few mamas were tested, this is a promising sign.

Coronavirus and breastfeeding (from the CDC):

  • Can you transmit COVID-19 through your breastmilk?
    • We don’t know. The virus is primarily spread by droplets (sneezing or coughing) and it is unknown if the virus can be spread through breastmilk.
  • If I think I have COVID-19, or I tested positive for COVID-19, should I keep breastfeeding?
    • To determine the answer to this question for each mama and family, the CDC recommends shared decision making between the mama, her family and the provider.
    • The CDC offers these recommendations as well:
      • “A mother with confirmed COVID-19 or who is a symptomatic PUI 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, if possible, while feeding at the breast.  If expressing breast milk with a manual or electric breast pump, the mother should wash her hands before touching any pump or bottle parts and follow recommendations for proper pump cleaning after each use. If possible, consider having someone who is well feed the expressed breast milk to the infant.”
    • Of note, the CDC has “no specific guidance for breastfeeding during infection with similar viruses like SARS-CoV or Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV).” We’re likely to see the same thing with COVID-19 until more evidence is available.

Other COVID-19 resources:

Hope that information is helpful!

In the next few weeks, I anticipate we’re all going to be at home a little more than usual. Thank goodness for the mamas I surround myself with. They’ve kept an influx of ideas coming my way on what to do with kiddos! Let me know your other ideas and I’ll keep the list as updated as possible!

Ideas on how to entertain kids at home:

Whew, what a list. I managed to check out most of the sites and they all look very promising. Let me know what sites you all recommend and how you are passing the time. Stay well, wash your hands, and start your spring cleaning early this year!

Jamie

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