National Breastfeeding Month: Lactation specialist says nursing is safe even with COVID

Health News

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – August marks National Breastfeeding Month, an opportunity to discuss the benefits of nursing.

In recent days, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention strengthened its recommendation that pregnant and breastfeeding women get vaccinated. 

A local lactation specialist said the best way for infants to get natural antibodies is through breastmilk, even from mothers who may have contracted COVID.

“If a mom has a known virus and she is continuing to breastfeed, then she’s already giving her baby such greatest protection by those antibodies passing through her breastmilk to her infant,” SouthCoast Health Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner and Lactation Counselor Carisa Elmore said. 

Elmore said the pandemic has led to an increase in the number of moms now choosing to breastfeed. 

“Interestingly enough, I have had so many mothers who did not go into pregnancy wanting to breastfeed,” said Elmore. “COVID has come about, and it has made people very nervous because of the uncertainty, especially the uncertainty of a newborn baby.” 

Elmore said pregnant women at in an at-risk category. 

“You are supplying so much to your infant, and you already have so many demands on your body, so COVID is starting to be pretty scary for pregnant women,” Elmore said.

In recent weeks, physicians have reported seeing more pregnant patients become infected with the virus. 

Elmore recommends pregnant and breastfeeding women talk to their OBGYN before getting the vaccine. 

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