FAQ: I have been detected as COVID 19 Positive - Is it safe to breastfeed my child?
Covid19 pandemic has impacted our lives in every way possible. The aspect of breastfeeding is not an exception. It is important to understand how breastfeeding can help in this era.
Recommendations by Leading Health Institutions :
The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends breastfeeding to be initiated and/or continued as usual in all cases; including those wherein, a mother might be a suspected or confirmed case of Covid19; while following some safety guidelines.
Unicef advises all mothers to continue breastfeeding while practising good hygiene. The 3 Ws of Wearing a mask, Washing hands with soap before touching the baby and Wiping surfaces to disinfect them regularly are suggested.
WHO recommendations :
Can the transmission of covid19 virus take place through breast milk?
The WHO has maintained that “Transmission of active COVID-19 (the virus that can cause infection) through breast milk and breastfeeding has not been detected to date.” Therefore, there is no reason to avoid or stop breastfeeding even if the mother is a suspected or confirmed case of Covid19.
Recommended safety guidelines to be followed by a Covid19 positive mother while Breastfeeding :
WHO Safety Measures for Breastfeeding while being Covid19 positive :
Note - It is important to replace medical masks as soon as they become damp and dispose of them immediately. Masks should not be reused or touched in the front. WHO recommends breastfeeding to continue even if the mother does not have access to masks. Other safety guidelines can be followed.
Advantages of Breastfeeding during the Covid19 Pandemic :
Risks of Discontinuing breastfeeding during the Covid19 Pandemic :
Note - If interruption of breastfeeding is medically necessary, it is recommended to provide expressed breast milk to the baby by hand expressing or pumping.
Formula feeding or Combi-feeding during Covid19 Pandemic :
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DISCLAIMER: THE FAQ ARTICLES ARE INTENDED AS A SOURCE OF BASIC INFORMATION AND AN EXTENSION OF SUPPORT FROM BREASTFEEDING PARENTS TO BREASTFEEDING PARENTS. IT DOES NOT CLAIM TO REPLACE ANY MEDICAL ADVICE.
* MEDICAL DISCLAIMER: THE ADVICE SUGGESTED BY THE LACTATION CONSULTANTS/STANPAN SAATHIS/WEBINAR HOSTS ARE THEIR OWN. TO ACCEPT AND TO ACT ON THOSE IS AT THE SOLE DISCRETION OF THE INDIVIDUAL WHO IS SEEKING SUPPORT. IN NO WAY SHOULD THE ADVICE GIVEN REPLACE A MEDICAL DIAGNOSIS OR ADVICE FROM A QUALIFIED PROFESSIONAL. IF THAT HAPPENS, IT'S AT THE SOLE DISCRETION OF THE INDIVIDUAL WHO CHOOSES TO DO THAT. BSIM WILL NOT BE HELD RESPONSIBLE OR LIABLE FOR ANY CONSEQUENCES.
WE UNDERSTAND AND ACKNOWLEDGE THAT PARENTS AND BABIES CAN BE OF VARIOUS GENDERS ON A SPECTRUM OF THE LGBTIQA+. FAMILIES COME IN DIVERSE FLAVOURS. HOWEVER, IN OUR ARTICLES, FOR THE SAKE OF SIMPLICITY AND CONVENIENCE, WE WILL BE REFERRING TO THE BREASTFEEDING PARENT AS THE MOTHER AND USING THE FEMALE PRONOUNS- 'SHE' AND 'HER' FOR BABIES. BABIES CAN BE NOURISHED AND NURTURED IN DIFFERENT WAYS AND WHILE WE HAVE USED THE TERMS BREASTFEEDING AND NURSING, WE RECOGNIZE THAT PARENTS CAN OPT TO CHEST FEED OR FINGER FEED.
We don't have conflicts of interests and declare and we are compliant with the WHO Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and the IMS Act.