Step 5 of the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding advises that “Health care professionals assess the mother’s breastfeeding techniques… optimally within 3 hours and no later than 6 hours after birth,”1. With the pandemic the world is currently experiencing, we are receiving reports of breastfeeding individuals being separated from their breastfeeding infants.
In order to assess breastfeeding and to set up a firm milk supply, the breastfeeding dyad should be kept together, skin-to-skin. (See previous posts on all the benefits of skin-to-skin.) What does your facility policy or protocol recommend during COVID-19? Do you now separate the breastfeeding dyad when COVID is suspected or diagnosed? What does current research recommend?
Here are some links to current recommendations to keep the breastfeeding couplet together during pandemics and especially COVID-19.
There are many more research and evidence-based statements from organizations, governments, individuals, and health care providers about COVID and breastfeeding. Please use those resources to make a meaningful change in your facility.
Stay safe and thank you for all you are doing for breastfeeding families during this very trying time.
Kathy Parkes, MSN-Ed, RN, IBCLC, FILCA CHC
Professional Development Educator
1. Baby-Friendly USA, Inc. (2020). The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative. Interim Guidelines and Evaluation Criteria for Facilities Seeking and Sustaining Baby Friendly Designation. https://www.babyfriendlyusa.org/news/bfusa-releases-interim-guidelines-and-evaluation-criteria/
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Last Updated: September 2018