Health agencies encourage women to continue breastfeeding during the global Pandemic of COVID-19. A new report from the World Health Organization, UNICEF and the International Baby Food Network (IBFAN) shows that despite efforts to stop the promotion of harmful milk substitutes, many countries still lack the protection of parents from misinformation.
Many of the benefits of breastfeeding outweigh the potential risks of viral-related diseases. It is not safe to give milk substitute to a baby. Dr. Francesco Branca, Director of the Department of Nutrition and Food Safety of the World Health Organization, says: “Marketing of milk substitute instead of breast milk, especially through health professionals whose parents trust nutrition and health advice, is a major obstacle to improving the health of newborns and children around the world.”
Healthcare systems must take action to increase parents’ confidence in breastfeeding without the influence of the milk substitute industry. So, children do not lose the health benefits of their lives. The World Health Organization and UNICEF recommend that infants should not be fed anything other than breast milk for the first six months, after which parents should continue to breastfeed, as well as take supplements and other safety measures until the baby reach to 2 years old or older.
To date, COVID-19 has not been detected in any breast-feeding of mother that has been confirmed or suspected to contain COVID-19. Therefore, it is unlikely that COVID-19 can be transmitted through breastfeeding.
The World Health Organization and UNICEF encourage women to continue breastfeeding during the COVID-19 Pandemic, even if they have been tested for or suspected to get infected of COVID- 19. Researchers continue to test for breast milk from mothers who have been diagnosed with or suspected of having COVID-19.
Women who have been diagnosed or suspected of having COVID-19 can continue to breastfeed their babies simply by:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand gel, especially before touching the baby
- Wear mask during direct contact with the baby, including when breastfeeding
- Sneeze or cough using tissue. Then discard immediately and wash your hands again
- Clean surfaces regularly after touching them
- Even if the mother does not have mask, they should follow all other preventive guideline recommended by a medical professional and continue breastfeeding as usual.
Article by: Health.D Cam
Source: World Health Organization