Editor’s Note: Here at Red Tricycle, we respect and celebrate every mom’s feeding journey. Bottle? Boob? It doesn’t matter—we believe fed is best. Our Spoke Contributor Network is inclusive and open to all parenting journeys—yours, too!
Breastfeeding is hard enough, but going through the ups and downs of lactation and feeding during a global pandemic makes things infinitely more stressful for moms. It’s such a vulnerable time for both mom and baby that extra care should be made to make sure everything is functioning properly and the mom feels well supported.
There are 5 essential things new moms can do while breastfeeding during this challenging time:
1. Go Big on Sanitizers: Wash your hands before feeding or pumping. Step up your sanitizing routine by creating a nursing nook that includes a hand sanitizer for your hands and disinfectant wipes for your materials. Make it an important part of your baby feeding schedule but also for any other time with the baby.
2. Balance Your Time Online. While it’s great to stay informed on current events around the web, prioritize time away from the screen to maintain balance of mind and body when feeding your baby. Embrace that time while keeping stress low, practicing both social and mental distancing.
3. Switch up the Normal Routine. You want the newborn journey to be enjoyable, but it’s hard to enjoy your time with your baby when you can’t leave the house. The key is to find activities around your home that are enjoyable—like creating fun new ways to play with the baby, taking the baby into the tub with you, going on walks, creating a fun nighttime routine, etc.
4. If You Have Been Diagnosed, Wear a Mask. If you have symptoms or have been diagnosed, you should still breastfeed, but do so with a mask. The CDC says breastmilk is the best source of nutrition for baby and limited early data suggests that there is no risk of infection to babies via breast milk. However, always check the CDC website for any updates and new findings around breastfeeding.
5. Control Visitors. Keep “non-essential” family members away from the baby. If grandparents want to be close, they must quarantine, or wash their hands, use sanitizer and wear a mask—and even though he/she may seem irresistibly cute, no kissing baby’s face.
This is a hard time for everyone but moms and babies are particularly vulnerable right now to experiencing challenges along the breastfeeding journey. These are just a few of the things moms and their caregivers and family members can do to make sure things go as smoothly as possible during this precious moment in time in the baby’s life.