I continue to monitor our community health situation, and the spread of Coronavirus/COVID-19. At this time, masks are still required for all office visits and classes. As always, I am working to provide the most current information and research.
The health of our families – both yours and mine – is my priority.
Coronavirus + COVID-19
Coronavirus is part of a large family of viruses which cause respiratory symptoms, sometimes severe. COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered strain of coronavirus, which is proving to be highly contagious; the disease can be spread through droplets from the mouth or nose of an infected person whether or not they are exhibiting symptoms.
COVID-19 has not been detected in breastmilk, though antibodies for it have (human milk is amazing!).
For those who have been exposed or show symptoms of COVID-19, current guidance from the World Health Organization (WHO) states that continuing to breastfeed and/or providing baby with expressed milk is preferred. Safety precautions include:
- wearing a mask when holding or feeding baby;
- washing hands before and after holding baby;
- routinely cleaning and disinfecting surfaces.
The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine (ABM) has also issued a Statement of Considerations for COVID-19 Vaccination in Lactation; you can find that information here.
In-Office Visits FAQ
Masks are required in my office at all times.
- Masks must fully cover the mouth and nose, be properly adjusted, and type N95 or KN94 or equivalent; I will provide one if needed.
- One other adult may accompany the feeding parent and baby to private consults, and each must consent to the mask policy; failure to do so will result in an immediate end to the visit. No refunds will be given.
- Please ask any questions about masking prior to our visit.
- Please only bring your water bottle/cup as needed; no other food or drink are permitted at this time (breastmilk or formula bottles for baby are always allowed).
- I am happy to do an Telehealth visit online should you have concerns about masking.
My office is set up with appropriate physical distancing in mind, both in common areas and private offices, and I will only be closer briefly when necessary, during feeding and/or oral assessments.
I have several supplemental air purifiers in all office spaces with filters rated to capture COVID-19 particles.
All clients are sent a health screening form 18-24 hours prior to their office visit, which must be completed at least two hours prior to our appointment. Clients who do not complete the screening will be transitioned to a virtual/telehealth visit or rescheduled.
In addition to the protocols outlined above, I follow the infection prevention and control measures as outlined by the CDC’s Consideration for Lactation Services, including:
- hand hygiene
- wear disposable masks and gloves, which are changed regularly
- staying current with all recommended COVID-19 vaccine doses.
- clean and all surfaces and equipment used during a consultation with EPA-registered disinfectants (mostly hydrogen peroxide- and alcohol-based)
- change out pillows and blankets used with each client and launder them on sanitize/hot
- monitor my health and any possible symptoms [I do have life-long mild environmental and seasonal allergies]
- promptly reschedule visits or switch to virtual appointments and/or quarantine after a known exposure
- will inform clients and county health officials if I or a close family member becomes ill
- am open to your feedback so that everyone feels comfortable.
Virtual/Telehealth Visits + COVID-19 FAQ
The HIPAA- compliant platform I use, Practice Better, is fully supported in the latest browsers on your Android and Apple mobile devices, tablets, and laptops/desktops; devices purchased in the last 3-4 years should be fully compatible, and many others may be sufficient. Your device will need a camera.
If you are joining a virtual/telehealth session in a browser, ensure you are using the latest Google Chrome, Apple Safari, or Mozilla Firefox browsers. The Practice Better app, available for iOS and Android, is required for a mobile device, which also supports a secure chat window where we can communicate after our session. It is very user-friendly and easy, I promise!
A reliable internet or cellular connection is also required.
Though it may seem weird at first, besides the fact that we are not sitting in the same room, the fundamentals of these sessions are absolutely the same!
In every role of support, my goal is to equip you with information, strategies, and tools to establish connection and secure attachment, improve difficulties, and tap into your innate skills so that you can make the best decisions for your family, and enjoy your baby.
- For one-on-one consults, you will receive a link to complete your health history immediately after booking. This information must be completed as soon as you are able before our session. After reviewing it, I may ask you to provide some photos or video through our secure portal in advance of our session to ensure I am seeing what I need to; I will provide clear instructions, and it should only take a few minutes. We will decide together how to track baby’s weight before and after feedings so we can record trends. During the visit, it is very helpful to have another person to help with camera angles; if this is not possible, we can strategize ways to prepare the environment. As always, I will share lots of information and tips, and we will develop a customized plan to help you meet your goals.
- For TummyTime!™ Method consults and classes, I will advise you on how to set up your space (which you would want to do at home anyway!). I will always work with what you have on hand.
- For groups, well… you don’t even need to leave your bed or couch!
All scheduling is done online! You can click through the services tab to find descriptions and details, or simply choose the “Book now” button (desktop/laptop only). Please contact me by phone or email if you wish to schedule outside of my usual availability.
Once you schedule a virtual/telehealth session, you will receive a confirmation email with instructions on how to prepare for our meeting; some sessions will generate a link to complete your health history as well.
Please check with your insurance company about what your policy covers and reimbursement options for virtual/telehealth visits with an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). Many insurance providers have issued statements saying they will cover feeding support visits during this time.
In this unprecedented time, many families feel it is more difficult than ever to sort out quality resources. Information is changing rapidly, but here are a few consistently excellent sources:
- Kellymom – COVID-19
- La Leche League USA – Coronavirus and Breastfeeding
- Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine – Statement on Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19)
- Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine – Statement on Considerations for COVID-19 Vaccination in Lactation
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Pregnancy and Breastfeeding FAQs
- Infant Risk Center – COVID-19 Vaccine in Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
It is beyond my scope of practice to give medical advice, but I am committed to connecting families with accurate and timely information. Please use these and other credible resources to make the best decisions for your family.
Marissa Honey-Jones – updated January 30, 2023