With Covid-19 spreading like a wildfire many people around are getting affected by the infection. Covid-19 has created a huge havoc around the world and the fight against this disease is going on. This post is about breast feeding in Covid-19.
For a new mother and everyone around has the same doubt as you. Many people and mothers with infants daily meet us for consultation. The common question they raise is whether they can breast feed their babies.
Let us try to focus on these common queries here. For the benefits of breastfeeding you can refer to the previous post.
Can Covid-19 spread from mother to a baby?
The correct answer is definitely yes. Like we all get infected when we come in contact with Covid-19 patients, babies too can get infected either through air or through touch.
If a mother or any other relative who has Covid-19 comes in contact with the baby, the baby may get infected with the virus.
Can spread of coronavirus be prevented?
Definitely yes. Spread of coronavirus can be prevented if we properly use mask and hand hygiene and keep the infected person in isolation till he/she recovers.
So should a mother with Covid-19 stop breastfeeding?
Covid-19 itself is not contraindicated to breastfeeding. Benefits of breastfeeding are far larger than fear of infection to the babies.
Breastfeeding prevents babies from many deadly diseases and malnutrition. This one single benefit exceeds the risk of Covid-18 infection.
What is advice to the breastfeeding mothers?
Mothers who are breastfeeding their babies should continue doing so with proper use of mask and hand hygiene. Breastfeeding should be continued till mother is capable of doing so.
If the mother needs oxygen support and admission and is so sick that she can’t feed the proper age appropriate infant feeding formula should be started with pediatrician’s advice.
When not to breastfeed the baby in Covid-19 infection?
As we discussed earlier Covid-19 itself is not contraindicated to breastfeeding. If you are infected you can definitely breastfeed your baby.
Only the thing to be remembered is the drugs. If you are started on some drugs for your infection you should ask your doctor whether they are compatible with breastfeeding.
If drugs are not safe you may temporarily stop breastfeeding and start age appropriate infant formula with your pediatrician’s advice.
What to do if you are advised to stop breastfeeding?
Remember for the first 6 months breast milk is the only food for your baby. If you are advised and decide to stop it consult the pediatrician and ask for the alternate food for the baby.
Your pediatrician will advise you age appropriate infant feeding formula. You should know the method of preparation and amount and number of feeds needed for your baby.
Additionally you should know the proper hygiene techniques while giving baby infant feeding formula.
The breast milk should be re-established as early as possible when the mother recovers or the concerned drugs are stopped. I hope this explains breast feeding in Covid-19.
This is just a general information Kindly consult your doctor before applying in real.