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Parent to Parent: Breastfeeding during the pandemic
Parent to Parent

Parent to Parent: Breastfeeding during the pandemic

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Q • I am seven months pregnant and would prefer to breastfeed my newborn but my friends and family are warning me not to do it because of the pandemic. My OBGYN says to wait and see. What are other moms doing or in this situation?

From a reader • We had our first baby in August of this year, and I've been breastfeeding without any problems. Although your baby isn't due for a couple of months, maybe things will be better by then and not so scary. Just listen to your doctor and follow whatever instructions you're given at that point. It's not your family and friends having the baby so if I were you, I would go with my doctor's orders. — Kat Smith in San Antonio, Texas

From Jodie Lynn • In my research on the internet, including the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention breastfeeding during COVID-19 is still achievable especially if you and your baby are healthy.

I'm a little surprised that their information on this topic isn't a bit more current, but at least it offers advice and situations on what they do know about the connection between breastfeeding and the virus.

For example, a lot depends on if you or anyone in your family has been exposed to the virus or has symptoms as well as if anyone in your household works outside the home where they could potentially be exposed and can therefore expose you.

It also states that even if you have the virus, you can still breastfeed. It's a little confusing, so I definitely agree with the above reader's suggestion; take the advice of your doctor once you give birth.

The CDC also states that if you think that you are showing signs of the virus at the time of your baby's birth you should:

• Wash your hands before touching your baby

• Wear a cloth face covering, if possible, while feeding at the breast

• Wash your hands before touching pump or bottle parts and clean all parts after each use

Just to keep your newborn safe, I would take all of the extra precautions of the above advice whether or not any of the virus situations personally applied to me.

It certainly would not hurt and having the comfort of knowing I was doing all I could to keep my infant healthy would be top priority.

CAN YOU HELP?

My 7-year-old son wants to know why people with dark skin are always shown on the TV burning and stealing things out of stores or in handcuffs or throwing things at the police. He's asking why everyone is so mad. How's the best way to explain to him that this isn't true of everyone with “dark skin” and tell him why he's seeing this on TV? I don't really see where anyone in the media is talking about this or helping parents when their kids are asking these types of questions.

To share parenting tips or submit questions, write to: Parent to Parent, 2464 Taylor Road, Suite 131, Wildwood, MO 63040. Email: direct2contact@parenttoparent.com, or go to www.parenttoparent.com, which provides a secure and easy way to submit tips or questions. All tips must have city, state and first and last name or initials to be included in the column.

Jodie Lynn is an award-winning parenting columnist, author of five books and mother to three children. She and her family live in Wildwood.

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