World Breastfeeding Week: All you need to know about breastfeeding during the pandemic

Dr. Chico states that, “The promotion and distribution of infant milk substitutes and milk bottles during the Covid-19 epidemic is harmful and should be condemned.”

COVID-19 has not only eclipsed our lives and health systems, it has also covered various unprecedented challenges, including pregnant women and newborns. And when we talk about newborns, breast milk inevitably becomes a mandatory subject. In fact, breast milk plays an important role in preventing life-threatening infections, which may contribute significantly to reducing the burden on the health care system, experts say. But, despite WHO, UNICEF and various organizations, this particular situation raises many questions. Apparently recommending breastfeeding, Drs. Shalini Chico, a pediatrician at Fortis La Femme Hospital, Bangalore. However, she states that “the promotion and distribution of infant milk substitutes and milk bottles during the Covid-19 epidemic is harmful and should be condemned.”

Here are some common questions that Dr. Chico answers Just look.

Can COVID 19 pass through breastmilk?

“Research so far has not detected a ‘replication-competent active Covid virus’ in breast milk. However, limited evidence has detected strands of viral RNA in breast cervix not capable of causing infection in the baby.” . Thus, “breastfeeding gets rid of the potential risks of transmission and disease associated with Covid19”, ensures the pediatrician.

How can women who are suspected or confirmed to safely breastfeed COVID 19?

“Although the virus does not pass through the breastmilk, it is likely to spread through respiratory droplets / contact, which can be reduced if appropriate infection prevention and control measures are seen,” informs the doctor. Thus, it is important to wash your hands frequently, along with using alcohol-based sanitizers before touching the child. Doctors also ensure that you are wearing a mask while breastfeeding to prevent the spread of infection through respiratory drops. It is also important to ensure that all surfaces touching the mother are dIs isolated regularly.

What if the mother is too ill to breastfeed?

She says, “The ideal scenario would be to practice rooming-in, ensuring that the infant and mother are in the same room, next to each other, in the dedicated COVID postpartum ward, to ensure special and without breastfeeding, “She says. However, doctors say that this procedure can be applied only when the mother COVID is positive, but not seriously ill.

If the mother is very ill and both the mother and the child have to separate, then Mother’s milk is pumped from the mother’s milk and sent to the baby and if the child is in severe pain, she is fed with a spoon tube feed. “In the current scenario, with imposed lockdowns, staff shortages and reduction in the number of donors, this scarce resource is reserved for preterm infants in the NICU” Dr. Chico shares.

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