What Parents Need to Know about Infant Feeding During COVID-19
The ongoing COVID-19 outbreak has brought numerous challenges for families with young children. For parents of infants, the outbreak has raised a unique set of questions and concerns related to infant feeding.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has put together resources for parents and caregivers that answer these questions and more:
- Is it safe to breastfeed during the COVID-19 pandemic? Yes—to date there is no evidence that COVID-19 is passed from mother to baby in breastmilk. Learn more.
- Can I continue breastfeeding if I test positive for the virus? Yes, but it is very important to practice proper hygiene and disinfecting recommendations. If you decide to breastfeed directly, it is recommended that you wear a mask and carefully clean your hands and breasts. If you pump your breast milk, it is recommended that you carefully clean your breasts, hands, and breast pump after every use. Learn more.
- What should I do if I can’t find infant formula? Significant infant formula shortages have been reported, though it is important to note that this is mainly due to people over buying and not because of a national shortage. If you can’t find infant formula, try these tips from the AAP: talk to your pediatrician and/or local WIC office to see if you can get formula through local formula representatives or charities; buy formula online from distributors or pharmacies; switch to any available formula unless your baby has special nutrition needs; borrow from a friend. Learn more.
- Is homemade infant formula safe? The AAP strongly advises against homemade formula as they are not safe, nor do they meet your baby’s nutritional needs. Learn more.
We encourage caregivers to talk with their pediatrician for other questions and concerns about their baby’s nutrition. Visit CDC.gov for more information about COVID-19 and HealthyChildren.org for related resources for families.