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Breastfeeding And Coronavirus Outbreak: Here Is What Nursing Mothers Should Know

According to the World Health Organisation, women with COVID-19 can breastfeed their child if they wish to do so provided they practice utmost hygiene while touching their baby and routinely clean and disinfect surfaces they have touched

Breastfeeding And Coronavirus Outbreak: Here Is What Nursing Mothers Should Know

New Delhi: As the coronavirus outbreak continues to spread across the globe, concerns are growing about the implications of its effects on various sections and vulnerable groups. It is now known that the infection is more dangerous for the elderly and people with pre-existing medical conditions like asthma, diabetes, heart disease, but how vulnerable are the nursing mothers and can COVID-19 be transmitted from a mother to a newborn through breastfeeding? According to Dr. Shweta Khandelwal, nutrition expert at Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), a not for profit public-private initiative working towards strengthening health in India, pregnant and lactating mother must be very careful but need not panic. She said,

Pregnancy itself is a vulnerable stage as we nurture another life within us. So yes, pregnant and lactating mothers must be very careful during this time when COVID-19 is causing all this catastrophe globally but they need not panic.

Also Read: Coronavirus Testing Strategy Revised In India, ICMR Decides To Test More In COVID-19 Hotspots

She further said that breastfeeding mothers should maintain hygiene, avoid unnecessary contact with people or surfaces, meditate, stay calm, eat healthily, be hydrated and rest well. She said,

There is no extra risk of getting infected if we observe all the above carefully. Even the WHO guidelines spell this out clearly assuring that lactating mothers should breastfeed without hesitation.

According to Dr. Rakesh Sahay, Endocrinologist and Diabetologist, and Professor at Osmania Medical College in Hyderabad,

The breastmilk is not going to transmit the infection but the aerosol generated from the mother if she is sick can transmit the infection. Therefore the mother needs to take the precautions to prevent the child from infections.

When it comes to nursing mothers, however, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has said that a woman with COVID-19 should be supported to breastfeed because breastmilk provides all the energy and nutrients that the infant needs for the first months of life. Therefore, pregnant women and nursing mothers who are having a hard time worrying about the nutrition that your baby deserves, here are some breastfeeding tips that WHO suggests.

Also Read: New Study Highlights That Pregnant Women Often Lack Adequate Nutrition

Actions Required To Be Taken By COVID-19 Positive Breastfeeding Mothers

– Practice respiratory hygiene, including during feeding
– Use a medical mask when near your child
– Wash your hands thoroughly with soap or sanitizer before and after contact with your child
– Routinely clean and disinfect any surfaces you touch

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WHO further recommends that if the mother is severely ill with COVID-19 then she should be encouraged to express milk (squeeze milk from the breast) and give it to the child via a clean spoon/cup. If she is too unwell to express breastmilk then she can resort to relactation, a process of resuming breastfeeding after a gap or using donor human milk. WHO says,

If you, your infants, or young children have suspected or confirmed COVID-19, seek breastfeeding counselling, basic psychosocial support, or practical feeding support. You may get support from appropriately trained health care professionals and also community-based lay and peer breastfeeding counsellors.

United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) also says that the mother can continue breastfeeding while practising all necessary precautions.

Also Read: Breast Milk Could Help Prevent Heart Disease In Premature Infants: Study

World

22,70,55,138Cases
18,97,86,461Active
3,25,98,424Recovered
46,70,253Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 195 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 22,70,55,138 and 46,70,253 have died; 18,97,86,461 are active cases and 3,25,98,424 have recovered as on September 17, 2021 at 5:36 am.

India

3,33,81,728 34,403Cases
3,39,0563,867Active
3,25,98,424 37,950Recovered
4,44,248 320Deaths
In India, there are 3,33,81,728 confirmed cases including 4,44,248 deaths. The number of active cases is 3,39,056 and 3,25,98,424 have recovered as on September 17, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

65,11,525 3,595

52,893 310

63,20,310 3,240

1,38,322 45

Kerala

44,46,228 22,182

1,86,754 4,559

42,36,309 26,563

23,165 178

Karnataka

29,65,191 1,108

16,202 282

29,11,434 808

37,555 18

Tamil Nadu

26,40,361 1,693

16,756 120

25,88,334 1,548

35,271 25

Andhra Pradesh

20,34,786 1,367

14,708 105

20,06,034 1,248

14,044 14

Uttar Pradesh

17,09,628 23

193 11

16,86,549 11

22,886 1

West Bengal

15,59,567 707

8,025 25

15,32,922 725

18,620 7

Delhi

14,38,373 28

409 5

14,12,880 22

25,084 1

Odisha

10,18,298 580

5,335 105

10,04,845 681

8,118 4

Chhattisgarh

10,04,988 31

352 2

9,91,077 29

13,559

Rajasthan

9,54,230 4

103 1

9,45,173 5

8,954

Gujarat

8,25,677 22

149 0

8,15,446 22

10,082

Madhya Pradesh

7,92,374 7

119 5

7,81,738 12

10,517

Haryana

7,70,697 9

327 8

7,60,562 17

9,808

Bihar

7,25,864 12

72 6

7,16,134 6

9,658

Telangana

6,62,785 259

5,282 43

6,53,603 301

3,900 1

Punjab

6,01,180 30

314 11

5,84,399 38

16,467 3

Assam

5,97,074 468

5,381 15

5,85,914 479

5,779 4

Jharkhand

3,48,102 6

102 8

3,42,867 14

5,133

Uttarakhand

3,43,330 20

284 12

3,35,657 32

7,389

Jammu And Kashmir

3,27,466 170

1,421 72

3,21,630 98

4,415

Himachal Pradesh

2,16,430 127

1,568 82

2,11,215 206

3,647 3

Goa

1,75,183 95

699 1

1,71,195 96

3,289

Puducherry

1,25,170 107

963 63

1,22,380 42

1,827 2

Manipur

1,17,913 216

2,614 7

1,13,478 219

1,821 4

Tripura

83,787 31

427 26

82,553 56

807 1

Meghalaya

78,958 229

1,804 140

75,784 86

1,370 3

Mizoram

76,591 1,121

13,888 85

62,449 1,202

254 4

Chandigarh

65,168 4

31 2

64,319 2

818

Arunachal Pradesh

53,990 47

536 9

53,183 56

271

Sikkim

30,802 64

775 28

29,648 36

379

Nagaland

30,763 32

505 14

29,610 44

648 2

Ladakh

20,631 6

41 1

20,383 5

207

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,670

5 0

10,661

4

Lakshadweep

10,353

4 0

10,298

51

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,595 3

15 2

7,451 1

129

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Dr Rucha Gulhane

    July 11, 2020 at 11:27 am

    I am a medico professional…my baby is 6 months old and breastfeeding. Should I resume my duties?? I am working in a medical college.are there any guidelines for the same?

  2. John

    April 10, 2021 at 4:45 pm

    You can resume your duties..

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