Breast feeding for Pregnant Women and COVID-19
Friends of Hermina, we are currently experiencing a COVID-19 pandemic condition. This virus spreads very easily and quickly. Pregnant women who are about to give birth and breastfeeding mothers who are confirmed to have COVID-19 experience confusion. How to breastfeed babies when we are confirmed to have COVID-19? Can breast milk transmit the virus to the little one? Or does it still have to be given? Here's the explanation.
Breast milk or Mother's Milk is the first step for the baby to get nutrition. Breastfeeding is very important for the growth and development of babies. WHO has recommended exclusive breastfeeding for infants for 6 months, then infants are given additional food, but continue to be breastfed for up to 2 years. Breast milk is also known as living water, it contains many nutrients, white blood cells, antibodies from the mother. Even if the mother is sick, the mother's antibodies contained in breast milk will provide protection to the little one. By breastfeeding, the mother gives her own antibodies to her child.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), until now there has been no evidence that the COVID-19 virus can be transmitted through breast milk to infants. Breast milk is not a medium of transmission for the COVID-19 virus. Even during a pandemic like this, babies should be exclusively breastfed, to avoid any infection. Breastfeeding is very useful for building the baby's immune system. So for mothers infected with COVID-19, it is recommended to continue breastfeeding considering the benefits obtained from breast milk.
Although breast milk is not a medium for transmitting the COVID-19 virus, breastfeeding mothers must also protect their little one from the risk of transmitting other COVID-19 viruses, such as through close contact of the baby with his mother, splashes of saliva and contamination from hands which are the main modes of transmission of COVID-19.
To protect your little one from transmitting the COVID-19 virus, there are several things that mothers must pay attention to and prepare before breastfeeding, such as:
• Wash hands before and after breastfeeding
• Clean yourself and breasts if breastfeeding directly
• Using a mask
• Clean surfaces of objects and feeding equipment if using expressed breast milk.
Well, Friends of Hermina, for breastfeeding mothers, there is no need to hesitate anymore if you want to give breast milk to the baby, especially for babies who are still 0-6 months old. As long as the mother maintains cleanliness, such as washing her hands before holding her child, wearing a mask when breastfeeding.