KEY POINTS

  • Many people today are struggling on how to deal with coronavirus
  • For breastfeeding moms, it has become a huge concern for them
  • Experts reveal whether one can still breastfeed if she is infected with COVID-19 

Coronavirus has not only caused a stir but it has also gotten a lot of people panicky. The rapid spread has already hampered normal economics and everyone seems to be in a state of panic buying. Travel bans were imposed along with postponements of events. A lot of schools have also closed. 

With the number of COVID-19 cases on the rise, people are taking precautionary measures. Washing of hands with soap and water has been recommended by the World Health Organization as the most efficient way to protect oneself from the virus. Social distancing has also been given as another measure. 

Mothers who are breastfeeding have become more cautious considering that the effects of the virus on them and on their babies are still unclear. This brings about the question of whether it is alright for them to breastfeed their babies if they are infected with the coronavirus. 

What Experts Say

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) have laid down guidelines for breastfeeding mothers in the wake of the coronavirus scare. According to the RCOG, mothers may continue breastfeeding their babies even if they are infected with the coronavirus. There has been no evidence so far whether the virus can be transmitted from the mother to the baby via breastmilk.  breastfeeding and coronavirus breastfeeding and coronavirus Photo: fancycrave1- Pixabay

The RCOG also emphasized the benefits that the baby will get from breastmilk outweigh any potential risk. The health body also said that the primary risk in breastfeeding is the proximity to the baby and the possibility of infecting the baby at birth because of the airborne droplets. 

Breastfeeding Guidelines

The RCOG said that, if you would be breastfeeding your baby, they recommend that you wash your hands before you touch your baby. Also, if you would be feeding at the breast, wearing a face mask is recommended. You might also want to request someone who is well to feed your baby with expressed milk. In addition, when cleaning breast pumps, you must follow the recommended guidelines. 

As per Express, adherence to sterilization guidelines will ensure that the bottles or breast pump you use are safe for your baby. A stricter adherence must be applied when you're at the hospital.

Generally, those who have died because of coronavirus were mostly the elderly or those with pre-existing conditions or health ailments like diabetes, hypertension, high blood pressure, cancer, respiratory problems or cardiovascular problems. If you fall under any of these, then, you need to be extra careful. Other than that, applying the guidelines or advisory from WHO will be helpful.