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Covid-19 Peds- Caring for and Feeding Baby During COVID

You may have many questions about how to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection and your baby. While there is still much to learn about COVID-19, there are ways to protect your baby.

Care for all babies

  • Keeping yourself and those in your home healthy is important to keeping your baby healthy. It is important to lower the chance for everyone in the home of getting the virus. This can be done by staying at home as much as possible.
  • You may have to leave your home at times, like going to a doctor’s visit for the baby. Remember to wear a mask in public places, maintain “social distancing” with six feet between you and others, and wash hands frequently.
  • Keep yourself and your baby away from people who are sick with symptoms like trouble breathing, fever, cough, or sore throat.
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Wash hands before touching or feeding your baby, and preparing food. If soap and water are not available, you may use a hand sanitizer with more than 60% alcohol.
  • Do not touch your face, eyes, nose or mouth. Wash your hands before and after touching your face.
  • Everyone should cover their nose and mouth with their elbow or tissue when they cough or sneeze. Put used tissue in the trash right away. Wash hands after touching your face, blowing your nose, or covering a cough or sneeze.
  • Clean and disinfect often areas in the home that are touched a lot. This includes counters, tables, handles, railings, doorknobs, light switches, toilets, faucets, and sinks. Clean with soap and water or a household cleaner to remove dirt. Following directions use a disinfectant to kill any germs left on the surface.* Keep household cleaners and disinfectants out of reach of children.

When mom, dad, or others in the home have COVID-19 or symptoms of COVID-19

  • If possible, an adult who is not sick should care for the baby.
  • If possible, sick family members should stay in a different room from the baby.
  • Try to keep the baby 6 feet away from those who are sick.
  • If the baby and someone who is sick are sleeping in the same room the baby’s crib or bassinette should be 6 feet away from the bed.
  • If you are sick, wear a mask when within 6 feet of the baby and when feeding the baby. Wash your hands before touching, holding, caring for, or feeding your baby.

 Breastfeeding your baby

Breastmilk is recommended for most babies for at least the first year of life. It provides all the nutrition your baby needs. It also helps protect your baby from many illnesses. So far there is no evidence that COVID-19 is passed in breastmilk from a mom to her baby. In other illnesses, like the flu, breastfeeding has been shown to be safe.

Breastfeeding is supported in moms who have COVID-19 or symptoms of COVID-19. If you have questions about breastfeeding reach out to your healthcare providers. It is very important to wash your hands and wear a mask.

For moms with COVID-19 or symptoms of COVID-19 who choose to directly breastfeed…

  1. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Wash hands before touching, holding, caring for, or breastfeeding your baby.
  2. Wear a mask while breastfeeding. Also wear a mask when within 6 feet of the baby.
  3. Clean skin that may touch the baby while breastfeeding with water. Only do this if you have coughed or sneezed onto your bare breast.

For moms with COVID-19 or symptoms of COVID-19 who choose to hand express or pump breastmilk…

  1. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before starting hand expression, pumping or feeding.
  2. Put on your mask before hand expressing or pumping.
  3. Before hand expressing and pumping clean and disinfect countertops, table surfaces, and the outside of pump.
  4. Wash your hands again before touching the breast, breast pump, pump parts, or other feeding items.
  5. If you have coughed or sneezed onto your bare breast, cleanse the skin before pumping.
  6. If possible, the breastmilk should then be fed to the baby by an adult who is not sick.
  7. Clean the pump kit and any other infant feeding parts directly after each use. Clean in a basin only used for cleaning pump parts and infant feeding items. Items should not go directly in the sink. Take the pump kit apart, rinse, clean with dish soap and water and rinse again.
  8. Air-dry pump parts on a clean dish towel or paper towel. Once parts are dry they may be stored.
  9. Clean the wash basin and bottle brush (if used) with dish soap and water after each use.
  10. Sanitize pump parts, bottle brush and basin at least once a day. Follow directions for each item. You can sanitize by boiling parts in water for five minutes, using a sanitizing steam device, or a dishwasher.

Bottle feeding your baby

You may also decide to feed your baby breast milk or formula from a bottle. If possible, an adult who is not sick should care for and feed the baby. Adults who are not sick should also wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Wash hands before touching, holding, caring for, or feeding the baby. Clean and disinfect areas in the home that are touched a lot by baby or others. Limit the number of adults caring for the baby and around the baby to prevent the spread of the virus.

A mom, dad, or family member that has COVID-19 or symptoms of COVID-19 may need to bottle feed the baby. It is very important to wash your hands and wear a mask.

  1. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Wash hands before touching bottle parts or other feeding items, and before touching the baby.
  2. Wear a mask when feeding the baby and when within 6 feet of the baby.
  3. Clean and disinfect countertops and table surfaces where bottle is prepared before and after making a bottle.
  4. Clean bottle parts directly after each use. Clean in a basin only used for infant feeding items. Items should not go directly in the sink. Separate all bottle parts, rinse, clean with dish soap and water and rinse again.
  5. Air-dry bottle parts on a clean dish towel or paper towel. Once parts are dry, they may be stored.
  6. Clean the wash basin and bottle brush (if used) with dish soap and water after each use.
  7. Sanitize bottle parts, bottle brush and basin at least once a day. Follow directions for each item.
  8. You can sanitize by boiling parts in water for five minutes, using a sanitizing steam device, or a dishwasher.

Contact your baby’s healthcare provider or seek medical attention, if your baby has a fever, a hard time breathing, coughing, not feeding well, not keeping feedings down, not waking up as normal, bluish lips, or if you have any other concerns. Call 911 for any emergencies.

For lactation help, reach out to your hospital’s Lactation Department or your baby’s healthcare provider.

For moms, dads, and others in the home, call your own healthcare provider if you feel sick, have a fever, or have other symptoms of COVID-19. Symptoms of COVID-19 can be fever, cough, trouble breathing, fatigue, muscle aches, headache, new loss of taste of smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea.

This information is based on what we currently know about COVID-19 and the spread of other respiratory viruses. For more information on COVID-19, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
*CDC.gov/coronavirus

 

 

 

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