Information for feeding and keeping your baby safe during the pandemic.
Last updated: December 14, 2021
Getting your COVID-19 vaccine is the safest way to protect you and your baby from COVID-19. Learn more on the Vaccine Considerations page.
Getting routine and emergency medical care for your baby is important for their health and wellbeing. Offices, clinics and hospitals have procedures in place to prevent COVID-19.
Call 8-1-1, check with your healthcare provider or community health centre if you have any questions or concerns.
Follow tips from Perinatal Services BC on COVID-19 prevention for you and your baby:
- Do not put a face mask or any covering on a baby's face, including visors and eye protection. Learn more about Masks.
- Do not over bundle your baby or cover carrier with heavy blankets
- Wash your hands frequently.
- Do not use hand sanitizer on your baby's hands. Their skin is still developing and changing.
- Other caregivers who are sick should not care for your baby until they are well.
- Stay connected with support persons.
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Follow these general tips on feeding your baby safely during the COVID-19 pandemic:
- Wash your hands before and after:
- holding your baby
- breastfeeding/chest feeding
- preparing infant formula
- feeding your baby
- Wear a mask if you have COVID-19 symptoms. Masks are not recommended for children under two years old. Learn more about masks.
- Wash and disinfect all infant feeding supplies carefully after each use. Find more information on cleaning in the Parents' Handbook of Pregnancy and Baby Care.
- Limit the number of people who feed and visit your baby
- Any caregiver who is sick and not needed to care for your baby should not feed or care your baby until they are well.
Currently, health experts have not found COVID-19 in human milk. If you are breastfeeding or feeding your child expressed milk, continue to do so as often as possible. Breast milk provides passive immunity, this helps protect your baby against other infections. Passive immunity
means your baby has been given the antibodies rather than making them itself..
For families who have made an informed decision to use infant formula, continue to safely prepare and store infant formula as described on the product label.
Find more information on how to safely feed your baby during COVID-19 using infant formula from Perinatal Services BC.
Infant formula is available in retail and online stores. If you cannot find or are concerned about the availability of the formula you normally use:
- If you are combining breastfeeding and formula feeding, consider breastfeeding more often to increase your milk supply. If you have recently stopped, it may be possible to restart. Find out more from HealthLinkBC.
- Try a different brand or type of formula. For example, ready-to-feed, liquid concentrate or powder. Any formula labelled for use from 0 to 12 months is safe for your baby, unless your baby is on a special formula. If so, contact your healthcare provider.
- Do not dilute formula with extra water to make your supply last longer. This will not provide your baby with the nutrition needed for healthy growth.
- Making your own homemade formula is not recommended.
If you have run out of infant formula or need advice, call 8-1-1 to speak with a nurse or dietitian at HealthLinkBC.
Learn more on the First Nations Health Authority's Breastfeeding Your Infant During COVID-19 resource.