Facts Over Fears

Mar 28, 2020

Things we CAN do to deal with COVID-19 if you are a 

Pregnant or Breastfeeding Mother 

Written by Stacy Notestine BSN, RN, IBCLC, RYT-200


Thorough hand washing (wash all surfaces of the hands for 20 seconds which is about how long it takes to sing your ABCs), sanitize your hands with alcohol based gel if you are unable to wash them, don’t touch your face, nose or mouth, cough or sneeze into a tissue or your elbow, throw your dirty tissues away, and disinfect common contact surfaces (i.e. countertops, kitchen drawer knobs, door handles, etc.).



Stay home, distance yourself from anyone who is sick, if you absolutely have to go out, then maintain 6 feet distance from others, wash or gel your hands as soon as you get home, and call your health care provider if you or anyone in your family is experiencing symptoms of illness, and get tested if necessary.



Fever, extreme fatigue, dry cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing. 



The Center for Disease Control (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO) and Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine (ABM) all strongly encourage moms to continue breastfeeding/pumping even if she becomes infected! This is the same recommendation for when a mom gets the flu, a cold, etc. KEEP BREASTFEEDING/PUMPING! Currently, per the CDC, there is not any evidence to suggest that the virus is transmitted through breastmilk. “No infants born to mothers with COVID-19 have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. In these cases, which are a small number, the virus was not found in samples of amniotic fluid or breastmilk.”

 The beautiful thing about providing breastmilk is that breastmilk contains ANTIBODIES to fight against the virus and illness. If mom or baby is exposed, the milk composition changes to address that. No formula has been able to replicate that. “Moms Milk is Medicine and Every Drop Counts” holds true now more than ever! Know that some breastmilk is better than none at all! Providing breastmilk doesn't necessarily prevent illness, but it does provide some protection which is amazing in itself!



Per the CDC “We do not currently know if pregnant women have a greater chance of getting sick from COVID-19 than the general public nor whether they are more likely to have serious illness as a result. Pregnant women experience changes in their bodies that may increase their risk of some infections. With viruses from the same family as COVID-19, and other viral respiratory infections, such as influenza, women have had a higher risk of developing severe illness. It is always important for pregnant women to protect themselves from illnesses.” 

The good news, as of this writing per the CDC, there have not been any infants born to mothers with COVID-19 have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.” So pregnant mamas, take all the same precautions listed above and know that your body is amazing and innately knows how to grow this new little human. Focus on that and not the fear!


As of this writing, ABM, WHO, and the CDC all emphasize the importance of breastfeeding moms and babies to NOT be separated. Moms DO need to take special precautions to decrease the risk of exposure. Moms should be isolated to a certain area/room and bathroom in your house. The baby has likely already been exposed before symptoms arrived so it is important to keep nursing or pumping. Make sure to wash hands frequently, especially when touching the baby, your breasts, and before and after nursing. It is important to wear a mask when breastfeeding and holding the baby. 

If mom is too sick to breastfeed, then she should pump as often as the baby is eating and someone who is well can feed the baby breastmilk by bottle. Prior to pumping mom should wash her hands and wipe down the pump before and after use with an antiseptic wipe. Pump supplies should be washed separately with hot soapy water and sanitized (sanitizer bag, boil for 10 minutes, or place on the top rack of the dishwasher using the sanitize cycle). Here is the link from the CDC on cleaning and sanitizing pump parts. https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/pdf/hygiene/breast-pump-fact-sheet-p.pdf

Although there is not an antiviral that has been proven against coronavirus, the good news with the data coming out, is that the percentage of infants and children being infected is small in comparison to all the diagnosed COVID-19 cases respective to age categories. The symptoms, severity and mortality for infants and children also seem to be much less. 



It is very important to take good care of yourself right now so you can take care of your family (blog coming soon)! Getting support from other pregnant or new moms who are going through the same thing, just like you, is very important. If you are pregnant, I offer a free A, B, C’s of Breastfeeding & Pumping class. Click Here

If you are currently a breastfeeding or pumping mama, I offer a weekly Moms Milk Club for any mom providing breastmilk and telehealth lactation consultations when a more in-depth lactation care plan is needed. Click Here 

All of these classes are by live video conferencing, customized to your needs, so that we can hear, see, and interact with one another. As a nurse, IBCLC, yoga teacher and health advocate, I am passionate about sharing my knowledge and promoting community and connection with all of you especially as we navigate this new virtual journey into motherhood.

We were never meant to do this alone! I am looking forward to connecting with you to walk with you during your new mama journey! 

You got this Mama!

If you liked what you read and would like to learn more, I would love for you to join the Baby’s Best Beginning community! 


Here are all the ways to connect… 


Baby’s Best Beginning YouTube 

Baby’s Best Beginning Face Book 

Baby’s Best Beginning Instagram


With love & gratitude,



References and some helpful links include the following:







Let’s be (.)(.) Breast Pen Pals!

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