Coronavirus Tips: Should You Breastfeed If You Have COVID-19?

Coronavirus: A woman with COVID-19 should be supported to breastfeed safely, hold her newborn skin to skin and share a room with baby: WHO. Read here to know breastfeeding tips for coronavirus positive mothers.

Coronavirus Tips: Should You Breastfeed If You Have COVID-19?

Coronavirus positive mothers should practice respiratory hygiene and wear a mask

Highlights

  • Coronavirus positive mothers can opt for expressing milk
  • They can also opt for relactation if they are unable to breastfeed
  • They should routine clean and disinfect surfaces

The World Health Organization has given a few guidelines for women who have been tested positive for coronavirus and if they can breastfeed for not. Breastfeeding is the primary, most important source of nutrition for infants. Not only does it help in offering protection against allergies, sickness and obesity, it also offers protection to the baby from developing diseases like diabetes and prevents constipation, diarrhoea and upset stomach. In an Instagram post, the WHO mentions that close contact and early, exclusive breastfeeding helps the baby to thrive. "Therefore, women with COVID-19 can breastfeed if they wish to do so," the post read.

Coronavirus: Is it healthy for a coronavirus positive mother to breastfeed?

According to WHO, a woman with coronavirus can breastfeed. They need to follow these:

1. Practice respiratory hygiene and wear a mask

2. Wash open hands before and after touching the baby

3. Routinely clean and disinfect surfaces

Also read: Coronavirus: WHO Global Trial Looks At 4 Most Promising COVID-19 Drugs

Breastfeed Tips During COVID-19: In case a woman with coronavirus is to unwell to breastfeed, then she can resort to the following measures

1. Expressing milk

Expressing breastmilk is a process in the mother expels milk from her breast, which can be stored and fed to the baby at a later point of time. A mother can express milk manually by using hands or with the help of breast pump - a product which is especially designed for expressing breastmilk.

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Breastfeeding mothers can opt for expressing milk if they have been tested positive for coronavirus
Photo Credit: iStock

2. Relactation

If the coronavirus positive is unable to breastfeed effectively, then she can opt for relactation. This is a process of resuming breastfeeding after a period of no breastfeeding or very little breastfeeding.

Also read: Coronavirus: You Are Not Invincible, WHO Shares Message For Youth

3. Donor human milk

According to the American Pregnancy Association, donated breastmilk is very safe. It comes from mothers who have pumped more milk than their own baby can have. Each container of milk is tested for harmful bacteria. The donated milk is then pasteurised to eliminate any infecting organism which may be present in the milk.

"A woman with COVID-19 should be supported to breastfeed safely, hold her newborn skin to skin and share a room with baby," the WHO guidelines mention.

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A woman with COVID-19 should be supported to breastfeed safely: WHO
Photo Credit: iStock

Coronavirus: What pregnant women should do

If you are pregnant, then washing hands regularly is of utmost importance. The WHO also recommends pregnant women to practice respiratory hygiene and avoid to touch your nose, eyes and mouth

Here are other tips to follow:

  • Put space between yourself and others
  • Cough and sneeze into your bent elbow or a tissue. Discard the tissue immediately after use and wash your hands.
  • "If you have fever, cough or difficulty breathing, then seek care early. Call beforehand and follow medical advice," WHO suggests.

Stay indoors, stay safe everyone!

Also read: Coronavirus: Tips To Protect Your Kids And How To Manage Their Schedule With Shutdown Of Schools And Childcare Facilities

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.