Information for feeding and keeping your baby safe during the pandemic.
Perinatal Services BC has information about keeping your baby safe during the pandemic:
- Do not put a face mask or any covering on a baby's face, including visors and eye protection
- Do not over bundle your baby or cover carrier with heavy blankets
- Wash your hands frequently
- While you and your baby can be close, keeping two metres between you and other people that do not live in your house will reduce your risk.
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This information will help you feed your baby safely during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Wash your hands before and after holding your baby, breastfeeding/preparing infant formula and feeding your baby
- Wear a mask while you have symptoms (e.g., cough, sore throat, fever, sneezing). Masks are not recommended for children under two years old. For more information see our Masks page.
- Clean and disinfect high touch surfaces often
- Wash and disinfect all infant feeding supplies carefully after each use. Learn more here.
- Stay connected with support persons while practicing physical distancing and avoid others who are unwell
- Limit the number of people who feed your baby
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.
You can find more information on how to safely breastfeed your baby and/or young child during COVID-19 here.
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.
You can find more information on how to safely feed your baby during COVID-19 if you are using or thinking about using infant formula here.
If you are using infant formula, or thinking about using it, then you should have enough formula on hand to last for 14 days (two weeks). Infant formula is available in retail and online stores. There is an adequate supply of infant formula in the province. However, some retailers cannot restock fast enough due to people purchasing more than they usually do.
If you cannot find 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 (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 health care provider.
- CAUTION: 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.
If you have run out of infant formula, have any concerns around infant formula or need advice on acceptable short-term alternatives, call 8-1-1 to speak with a nurse or dietitian at HealthLinkBC