ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)- Support for breastfeeding can be a determining factor for how long mothers breastfeed their babies. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, moms may find it difficult to get the support they need.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says the number of breastfed babies decreases over time. The percentage of babies breastfed exclusively at three months is 50% and falls to 25% at six months. The CDC says the reason could be that they are not receiving the support needed from family members, employers, healthcare providers, and their community.
St. Peters Health Partners Lactation Consultant, Barbara Donnelly, says outpatient visits are on hold but through a partnership with Capital Region Baby Café they are able to hold virtual support group meetings. Donnelly says she wants moms to know there is help available to struggling moms, even if it’s a phone call.
Whatever individual challenge moms and babies may be facing from minor issues with latching or more complicated situations where babies spent time in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Donnelly says there are knowledgeable professionals willing to help. She also encourages family members to call on behalf of moms.
Because breastfeeding is about relationship building between mom and baby, Donnelly says problems with breastfeeding can cause mothers to worry about that relationship. Rather than switching to bottle-feeding, which Donnelly says is sometimes appropriate, moms should reach out to get support from where they can.