Supporting breastfeeding during the pandemic

Marisca stands behind nursing mamas but not keyboard warriors

Last week, an article about breastfeeding and COVID-19 was posted on to the Interior News’ Facebook page. The title of the article was Breastfeeding during the pandemic: what we know and don’t know. We received a lot of negative feedback about the article. People said we were causing breastfeeding mothers unnecessary stress during a pandemic and causing fear.

More than one person said we were fear mongering. It appeared that most people who sent us messages or commented on the article didn’t read the full article. Some people said the author of the article was causing breastfeeding mothers to not nurse their babies. I find this hard to believe. First of all, no one should take medical advice from Facebook. Secondly, this article stated multiple times that women are encouraged to continue breastfeeding.

“The World Health Organization (WHO) and Canada’s chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam both recommend mothers breastfeed even if they have or are suspected to carry the virus.”

The article was about the fact that we don’t know everything about COVID-19 and that is a fact. This is a new virus and we don’t know long term effects and we don’t exactly know how this virus works and why it is affecting certain people more than others.

This article was also about the concern that milk banks were drying up, which it stated they are not and said milk banks were still accepting milk donations and testing (as usual) the milk.

“At the milk bank, donors are screened and the milk is pasteurized before being provided to families. According to Jones the benefits of breast milk, which contains antibodies that protect infants from infections, outweigh the unproven risk of COVID-19 transmission.”

I did not write this article about in opinion shines a light on breastfeeding and normalizes it. Mothers have been breastfeeding since the beginning of time, throughout pandemics and health scares. Nursing mothers are encouraged to continue to do so throughout this health crisis too.

It was never our intention to scare mothers away from breastfeeding. I am a huge advocate for breastfeeding. I nursed both my daughters for more than a year. (Yes, fed is best but this isn’t what this is about.)

This isn’t the first time I’ve stood up for breastfeeding mothers in the pages of The Interior News. Do you remember a little controversy when a mother nursed her baby in a small restaurant in Telkwa a couple of years ago? And she was asked to cover up or leave and then people boycotted that restaurant. People in this town are passionate about the boob and rightfully so, but just like last time, let’s not be keyboard warriors and rush to judgment.

If you are a nursing mom and you have concerns about feeding your baby, talk to your doctor about it or a lactation consultant. There are so many valuable resources in Smithers for nursing mothers. Don’t read a headline and decide that you should or shouldn’t do something. Read the whole article, find other resources and information and always bring up your concerns with a medical professional. That goes for any article you may come across online.

However, please don’t stop commenting on our articles.

We like feedback and strongly encourage it. If you have concerns about something we write, we are always happy to discuss it.

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