TYLER, Texas (KETK) – It’s National Breastfeeding Awareness Month, a time to recognize the inseparable bond between a mother and her child. However, the pandemic can add some complications. UT Health Tyler helped explain what mothers should know during these times.
When COVID-19 first hit, the looming fear for lactation consultants and breastfeeding families was the unknown; the biggest concern over whether or not they should separate mothers and their children.
The CDC, AAP, and World Health all agreed upon keeping them together. The next concern was how to keep susceptible infants safe during unprecedented circumstances.
The lactation consultant’s primary role during this pandemic is to keep babies healthy. UT Health said they have implemented an overwhelming amount of safety precautions to protect moms, babies, and breastfeeding families.
According to Dee Ann Pascoe, a lactation consultant with UT Health Tyler, breastfeeding comes with a variety of benefits for both the mother and child. “The milk will actually change to meet the needs of the baby. That is so important during this pandemic,” said Pascoe.
To name a few benefits:
- Decreases the risk of breast and ovarian cancer
- Calms anxiety amid pandemic
- Decreases risk of post-partum depression
- Decreases child’s risk of obesity, allergies, diabetes, and ear-infections
Given the financial burden COVID-19 has caused, Pascoe added that breastfeeding can help immensely for struggling families.
“Financially, families can save thousands of dollars per year annually. This is so important now that we’ve been so impacted by COVID and there are so many people that are struggling financially.”Dee Ann Pascoe, Lactation Consultant, UT Health Tyler
Pascoe urges families to take advantage of this “liquid gold” that comes completely free of charge. As the composition of the milk changes to completely fit the child’s needs, breastfeeding is an incredibly resourceful tool to keep the infant’s immune system healthy and proactive during the pandemic.
For more tips for new moms, visit the UT Health News website.