Breastfeeding concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic

It is World Breastfeeding Week and, now more than ever, parents are concerned about nursing their little ones during the pandemic.

This week, the World Health Organization reaffirmed their statement saying, in part, that even if a woman contracts COVID-19, they should continue to breastfeed.

The benefits outweigh the risks.

Dr. Rashmi Kudesia is an obstetrician-gynecologist who agrees. She is also a new mother herself with concerns about contracting the virus possibly at work.

"My hope was if I were exposed, at least I would have the ability to pass those antibodies on to my daughter. Even though I have had a very difficult breastfeeding journey actually, this was a big motivation for me to continue," said Kudesia.


Like Kudesia, many mothers have to go to work, and being able to continue nursing is difficult.

"Parenthood is hard. Being working parents is even harder. A working parent during a pandemic is crazy," said Debi Yadegari, the CEO of Villyge.

The company is a benefit employers pay for their employees to gain access to parenting resources. When it comes to nursing, she says assistance is needed now more than ever whether you are working at an office or at home.

“Sometimes the needs of the breastfeeding child or physical needs of the breastfeeding mother do not always jive with when those Zoom meetings are scheduled. This is the same stress that working parents and mothers deal within the physical office. Just because we are working from home does not mean the stress of breastfeeding and working parenthood is gone,” said Yadegari.

The stress is there, and so is the fear of contracting the virus, but advice from medical experts is positive.

“Overall, I think that the message is reassuring that you should continue on your breastfeeding goals to the best of your ability is the advice even if you get COVID-19,” said Dr. Kudesia.