Do I need to take any special precautions when feeding my baby?

Make sure you continue to practice good hygiene when feeding your baby. Coronavirus could be spread to your baby in the same way it could spread to anyone you are in close contact with. The main risk while feeding your baby, whether it be breastfeeding or formula feeding, is the close contact between you and your baby, as if you cough, this could contain droplets which are infected with the virus and could lead to your baby catching coronavirus.

For this reason when you or anyone else feeds your baby, the following precautions are recommended:

  • Wash your hands before touching your baby, breast pump or bottles
  • Avoid coughing or sneezing on your baby while feeding  them
  • If you have symptoms of coronavirus infection consider wearing a face mask while breastfeeding or formula feeding, if available
  • If you feel too unwell to breastfeed your baby, consider asking someone who is well to feed your expressed breast milk to your baby. 
  • Follow recommendations for pump cleaning after each use
  • If formula feeding or using bottles to feed your baby expressed milk always follow equipment sterilisation guidelines.

If you are partially breastfeeding and want to ensure your milk supply continues then one thing you can do is to express after each supplementary (bottle) feed, even if it is only a little.   If you are using a breast pump to express then make sure you follow the manufacturer’s directions for sterilising the equipment before and after each use, as well as washing your hands. If at any time you are too unwell to breastfeed and have to switch to formula feeding, ask your midwife or health visitor about how to re-establish breastfeeding for when you feel well.

Your midwife and health visitor are there to support you during your pregnancy, birth and in the early years of your child’s life. If you have any concerns about breastfeeding, contact them, they will be happy to help, although it might take them a little longer to get back to you at this current time.

You can find further information on breastfeeding and coronavirus here.