Get Healthy, Carson City: Breastfeeding in 2020

The year 2020 has turned out to be a challenging year for us all. In a world of social distancing, new moms are asking the question, is it safe to breastfeed my child? What if I test positive for COVID-19, can I still breastfeed my child?

Breastfeeding is good for both infants and mothers. Breast milk is the best source of nutrition for most infants. As an infant grows, breast milk changes to meet the infant’s nutritional needs. Breastfeeding can also help protect the infant against certain illness and diseases such as asthma, obesity, Type 1 diabetes, lower respiratory disease, ear infections, gastrointestinal infections, and sudden infant death syndrome. Breastfeeding moms have a lower risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, Type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure.

The CDC guidelines on breastfeeding for mothers with confirmed COVID-19 or who are a symptomatic person under investigation (PUI) should be counseled to take all possible precautions to avoid spreading the virus to her infant, including hand washing and wearing a cloth face covering.

According to the CDC, it is unknown whether mothers with COVID-19 can transmit the virus via breast milk, but the limited data available suggest this is not likely. The decision to start or continue breastfeeding should be determined by the mother in coordination with her family and healthcare providers.

An option for breastfeeding moms who are feeling ill is to hand express or pump and have someone else feed the baby. It is important to wash hands thoroughly with soap and water prior to handing a pump or bottles. If there is a supply drop be sure to consult a designated breastfeeding expert or medical provider.

Carson City Health and Human Services manages two Women, Infants, and Children clinics, one in Carson City and one in Gardnerville. Our clinics have breastfeeding experts that can help answer questions. Both clinics are accepting new participants. Currently, to keep everyone safe, we are offering appointments via telephone/computer.

For information on breastfeeding, you may contact your local WIC agency:

Carson City Health and Human Services WIC

900 E. Long St., Carson City


Monday- Friday 8 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Douglas County WIC clinic

1524 Highway 395 North

Call 775-283-4772

Monday- Friday 8 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

For additional resources and information about healthy decisions or programs and services offered by Carson City Health and Human Services, check out our website at, follow us on Twitter @CCHealthEd, “Like” us on Facebook at, follow us Instagram @gethealthycarsoncity, call us at (775) 887-2190, or visit us at 900 E. Long St. in Carson City.

Mary Jane Ostrander is Carson City Health and Human Services Human Services Division Manager.


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