In the current situation, where COVID-19 is wreaking havoc worldwide, mothers are understandably concerned that the coronavirus is transmitted through breast milk. Breastfeeding mothers must follow appropriate hygiene protocols to avoid COVID-19. The following guidelines help breastfeeding mothers and their babies stay safe and healthy
New Delhi: One of the biggest challenges for parents during an outbreak is to keep their children safe and healthy. The ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic can make it difficult for families to remain calm amidst fear and insecurity. With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to wreak havoc worldwide, parents, especially young mothers, are understandably concerned about passing the coronavirus on to their babies through breast milk. Global Parents’ Day, which is celebrated on June 1st each year, honors parents and their selfless commitment to children.
As families around the world are forced to stay at home to slow the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, it is important to help children feel safe and secure to stick to healthy routines. The COVID-19 pandemic has taken some of the joy out of new mothers’ worries about being exposed to the virus. When you are breastfeeding, it is extremely important to understand how you can properly protect yourself and your baby.
How to get the new mother and baby to safety during the pandemic
Here are some guidelines that breastfeeding mothers must follow to protect themselves and their babies during the pandemic.
According to UNICEF guidelines, it is important to maintain 3 Ws while breastfeeding. So far, the virus has not been found in breast milk, so the guidelines recommend that all mothers continue breastfeeding and ensure good hygiene. The 3Ws are:
Wear a mask while feeding the baby.
Wash your hands with soap before and after touching the baby.
Wipe and disinfect surfaces regularly.
The greatest risk for the baby is to get the virus through close contact with the mother or another infected family member. Therefore, special care must be taken with the 3Ws if someone is sick at home.Everything you need to know about childhood schizophrenia – red flags for parents and treatment optionsEverything you need to know about childhood schizophrenia – red flags for parents and treatment options
The benefits of breastfeeding for babies
It is a known fact that breastfeeding protects newborns from countless diseases during infancy and childhood. Breast milk, the ideal nutrition for infants, contains vitamins, protein and fat that are essential for your baby’s growth. Breast milk also protects the baby’s intestine compared to formula feed.
In addition to the numerous benefits of breastfeeding, the antibodies in breast milk help your baby ward off viruses and bacteria. Babies who are breastfed exclusively for the first 6 months (this is the worldwide recommended standard) have a lower risk of allergies and asthma, less ear infections and diarrhea and therefore need less medical attention, Dr. Sushma Tomar, infertility specialist and endoscopic surgeon, Fortis Hospital, Kalyan, Mumbai.
Can you breastfeed if you have COVID-19?
According to UNICEF guidelines, mothers who contract coronavirus shortly before birth and those who become infected while breastfeeding produce antibodies in their milk to protect their baby and boost the baby’s immune response. This means that breastfeeding is the best way to fight the virus and protect your baby. The guidelines also suggest that a mother who has symptoms such as fever, cough, or difficulty breathing should see a doctor early and follow her doctor’s instructions.
Mothers who develop coronavirus shortly after birth must follow the appropriate hygiene protocols. The advice from the doctor and the nursing staff for mothers is of crucial importance for the new mother. Standard breastfeeding guidelines must be followed to breastfeed the child up to 6 months after delivery. This should be done with good hygiene. The mother can start breastfeeding within one hour after birth