Mississippi Public Health Institute Encourages Pregnant Women and Breastfeeding Mothers in Jackson, Hancock, and Harrison Counties to Take Steps to Avoid Infection

Media Contacts:
Tennille Collins, Mississippi Public Health Institute, tcollins@msphi.org, (601) 398-4406
Elaina Jackson, Fahrenheit Creative Group, LLC, elaina@fcgworks.com, (601) 371-8003

Partner Organizations Provide Coronavirus (COVID-19) to Recommend Safety Measures for Pregnant Women and Breastfeeding Mothers on Website and Social Media

JACKSON, Miss. – The Mississippi Public Health Institute (MSPHI), a nonprofit organization whose mission is to engage in partnerships and activities that improve Mississippi’s health, is encouraging pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers in Hancock, Harrison, and Jackson Counties to take measure to protect themselves and their babies during the COVID-19 pandemic. These efforts are part of the organization’s collaborative SHEA (Sharing Health Education & Awareness) campaign, which is the public education and awareness component of a multi-year effort to increase breastfeeding rates among African American women and improve overall health along the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), pregnant women and breastfeeding can protect themselves from COVID-19 by taking the same steps as the general public to avoid infection, which include:

  • Covering your cough (using your elbow is a good technique)
  • Avoiding people who are sick
  • Washing your hands often using soap and water for at least 20 seconds or alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Avoiding social gatherings of 10 or more people

Breastfeeding mothers with a confirmed case of COVID-19 or are showing symptoms should take extra precautions, including:

  • Washing your hands before touching the infant
  • Wearing a face mask, if possible, while feeding at the breast
  • Washing your hands before touching any breast pump or bottle parts
  • Following recommendations for proper pump cleaning after each use, if feeding with a manual or electric breast pump
  • Considering having someone who is well feed the expressed breast milk to the infant

“We don’t currently know if or how COVID-19 may affect pregnant women and babies, which is why we are encouraging women to take extra precautions to protect their health and the health of their child,” said Tennille Collins, program manager at MSPHI. “Through social distancing, handwashing, and other measures, we can help ensure mothers, babies, and families are healthy and safe.”

For the most current information on COVID-19, visit the MSDH website at www.msdh.ms.gov.  For more information on MSPHI, visit www.msphi.org.