During the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, breastfeeding and the provision of human milk to infants is recommended by national and international organisations because it is effective against infectious diseases– It strengthens the immune system by directly transferring antibodies from the mother, say researchers. Also Read - Coronavirus: Cases in Pakistan Rise Above 69,470; Death Toll Nears 1,500-mark
While the current coronavirus continues to affect all people, families will still give birth and bring new life into the world. Also Read - Bangladesh Reopens Offices, Transport Services Amid Spike in Coronavirus Cases
In the study, published in the Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic and Neonatal Nursing, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania provides guidance regarding breastfeeding and COVID-19 and reaffirms why it is of paramount importance to promote and protect the use of human milk and breastfeeding. Also Read - Amid Sharp GDP Data Revision, Debate Continues Over Its Fairness
“While it is unknown if COVID-19-positive mothers can transmit the virus through milk, in limited studies the virus has not been detected in human milk,” said study author Diane Lynn Spatz from the University of Pennsylvania in the US.
According to the researchers, during this current pandemic, there have been reports of formula shortages and price gouging the cost of infant formula.
“We should use this pandemic as a way to increase the visibility of the critical role of human milk and breastfeeding for all families at all times and educate the public about the importance of the use of human milk and breastfeeding as lifesaving medical interventions,” She added.
The World Health Organisation has advised that mothers with any symptoms who are breastfeeding or practising skin-to-skin contact should take precautions.
“Practice respiratory hygiene, including during feeding. If you have respiratory symptoms such as being short of breath, use a medical mask when near your child,” the WHO said.