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


Dr Chico factors out that, “promotion and distribution of infant milk substitutes and feeding bottles during the Covid-19 pandemic is harmful and should be condemned.”

COVID-19 has not solely eclipsed our lives and healthcare system, it has additionally posed numerous unprecedented challenges, together with for pregnant ladies and new child children. And after we discuss about newborns, breast milk invariably turns into an crucial matter. In reality, breast milk performs an important function in stopping life-threatening infections which may considerably contribute to decreasing the burden on the healthcare system, say consultants. But, there are quite a few questions that loom on this specific scenario regardless of the WHO, UNICEF and numerous organisations unequivocally recommending breastfeeding, factors out Dr Shalini Chico a paediatrician at the Fortis La Femme Hospital, Bangalore. She, nevertheless, provides that “promotion and distribution of infant milk substitutes and feeding bottles during the Covid-19 pandemic is harmful and should be condemned.”

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Here are some FAQs that Dr Chico solutions. Take a glance.

Can COVID 19 move by way of breastmilk?

“Research so far has not detected the ‘replication-competent active Covid virus’ in breast milk. However, limited evidence has detected strands of the viral RNA in breastmilk, which is not capable of causing infection in the baby” shares Dr Chico. Thus, “breastfeeding benefits outweigh the potential risks of transmission and illness associated with Covid19”, ensures the paediatrician.

How can ladies with suspected or confirmed COVID 19 safely breastfeed?

“Though the virus does not pass through breastmilk, there is a chance of sp through respiratory droplets/contact, which can be minimised if appropriate infection prevention and control measures are observed,” informs the physician. Thus, it’s important to wash your palms regularly together with utilizing an alcohol-based sanitiser earlier than touching the child. The physician additionally suggests ensuring you are carrying a masks even when breastfeeding to stop the sp of an infection by way of respiratory droplets. It can also be important to be certain that all surfaces that the mom touches are disinfected recurrently.

What if the mom is simply too sick to breastfeed?

“The ideal scenario would be to practice rooming-in, that is, ensure the baby and mother are in the same room, next to each other, in a dedicated COVID postnatal ward, to ensure exclusive and unhampered breastfeeding”, she says. The physician, nevertheless, provides that this course of can solely be carried out when the mom is COVID constructive, however not critically unwell.

If the mom is simply too sick and each the mom and the child have to be separated, then expressed breast milk i.e pumped milk from the mom is distributed throughout to the child and fed by a spoonor tube feed if the child is simply too preterm, is suggested. “In the present scenario, with imposed lockdowns, the paucity of staff and decreased numbers of donors, this scarce resource is reserved for preterm babies in the NICU” shares Dr Chico. 

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