As Coronavirus (COVID-19) spreads through Australia it can be especially frightening when you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or you have small children. We are taking measures to help reduce the chance of infections and to protect our lovely customers and staff. There are also a number of great resources out there for pregnancy and breastfeeding that I wanted to share with you. First, if you've been living under a rock and have no idea what I'm talking about, let me share the latest:
What is Coronavirus?
The Coronavirus is also known as COVID-19 or SARS-CoV-2. It is a new virus that causes a respiratory infection, affecting breathing. For most people, the symptoms are similar to the seasonal flu and include having a high temperature, a cough, and shortness of breath. In some severe cases, it may cause pneumonia.
How is Coronavirus spread?
Like most flu viruses, the Coronavirus is primarily thought to travel between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 1.5 meters). The virus is communicated via respiratory droplets caused by coughing or sneezing. These droplets can then land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby, or possible can be inhaled into the lungs.
It is thought to survive for between 48 to 72 hours on a hard surface, such as a hand rail, but less time on a soft surface.
What is Milk and Love doing in response to COVID-19?
At Milk and Love we have overhauled our hygiene standards and increased social distance. We are closing the shop front from Monday 23rd of March until further notice. If you need to pick up urgently we are still here from 9:30 till 2:30 packing your orders, just call us on 07 3160 9418 to let us know you need to pick up your order.
Other measures we are taking at Milk and Love include:
1. Thorough hand washing at the start of a shift (and during!)
The current advice is to wash your hands thoroughly and often to kill any virus on your hands before you touch your face or otherwise spread them. What that means is you need to wet your hands, use soap, rub the soap into your hands including the backs of your hands and between your fingers for at least 20 seconds, and then dry with a single use paper towel that you can also use to turn off the water.
Soap is generally more effective than alcohol based antibacterial wipes or gels, however the antibacterial wipes and gels are a good option when soap and water is not available. You should use the antibacterial gel in the same way as applying the soap to your hands, that is, rub all over for at least 20 seconds.
2. Sanitising work stations at the end of each shift
To help prevent any cross contamination we are thoroughly sanitising work stations at the end of every shift, including the station where we pack your orders. This helps to make sure everything is germ free every day!
We are also regularly sanitising commonly touched areas in the shop, including door handles.
3. Hand sanitiser available for everyone entering the shop
While we are not encouraging browsing in the shop at the moment, we are providing hand sanitiser at the entrance if you are coming in to pick up and for couriers who are picking up/dropping off.
4. Staggering shifts or working from home
We are minimising the number of people at Milk and Love by working from home, or changing shifts so there is not more than 2 or 3 people here at any one time.
5. Social distance of 1.5m as much as possible
We are maintaining a 1.5m distance as much as possible from each other and anyone who comes into the shop.
6. Finally, of course, staying home if sick!!
This goes without saying. But please don't visit if you are sick or have any sniffles! We offer free delivery for orders over $65, or you can send someone in to pick up your order if it is urgent.
Online Deliveries Taking Longer Than Usual
We've noticed AusPost are taking a little longer to get your orders to you (due to the increase in online orders), so if your order is urgent we encourage you to choose Express Post.
What am I doing personally?
We have bought enough supplies to get us through 2 weeks if needed (but not much more!), and are trying not to panic buy! We have also made up our own hand sanitiser with rubbing alcohol and aloe vera (recipe here) and are washing our hands all. the. time!
We're catching up with friends on the phone instead of in-person and have cancelled all group activities and events. I have decided to take our 18 month old out of daycare for the next month, but my older two are still going to school as I don't want them to fall behind with school work (or miss their friends).
Resources for Pregnancy and COVID-19
At the moment the evidence suggests that Coronavirus will not be transferred to your unborn baby . Guidelines issued in the UK by Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Royal College of Midwives and Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health advice that pregnant women do not appear to be more susceptible to severe Covid-19 symptoms and there is no evidence that the virus can pass to a baby during pregnancy.
For more information on Pregnancy and the Coronavirus:
- Australian info at The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynocologists Statement
- Comprehensive info from The Royal Collage of Obstetricians and Gynocologists in the UK
- and the CDC in the US: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/pregnant-women-and-children.html
Resources for Breastfeeding and Babies
The current advice is to keep breastfeeding even if you get Coronavirus. Breastfeeding should help reduce your baby's risk of becoming ill, or reduce their symptoms if they do become ill.
If you do have Coronavirus, it is encouraged that you wash your hands thoroughly and often (before pick up your baby), and wear a face mask to reduce the likelihood of passing the virus onto your baby. If you are ill enough to be hospitalised, it is best if you are able to take your baby and continue breastfeeding so your baby continues to get the antibodies and immune boosting.
If you cannot continue breastfeeding, then hand expressing or pumping your milk is a good idea if possible. Your expressed milk will contain immune boosting properties that may help prevent your baby from getting sick, or reduce the severity of illness if your baby does get sick.
The best source of information for breastfeeding mothers on COVID-19:
How is COVID-19 impacting you and your family?
About the Author
Corryn is a lover of coffee, hugs and sunshine. Mum of 3 and founder of Milk and Love, Corryn loves chatting to new mums and pregnant mums. She has extensive breastfeeding experience, and is an advocate for gentle parenting, cosleeping and looking after Mum's mental health... read more about Corryn here