The World Health Organization (WHO) officially declares that breastfeeding is safe for babies despite having positive coronavirus reports. The health agency found ‘fragments’ of the virus from mother’s milk but said that these are not ‘live’ viruses that could harm children. Therefore, declaring breastfeeding as a safe thing to do, amid the pandemic.
Fox News reported this week that some COVID-19 viruses were positively found in a mother’s milk. But, here’s the explanation of why you should not worry at all.
The WHO confirms coronavirus-positive mothers cannot transfer the virus to their infant children. Study shows breast milk has antibodies that may even prevent a baby from getting the virus. It was also argued that children have slighter chances of being infected with COVID-19.
“Breastmilk contains antibodies and other immunological benefits that can help protect against respiratory diseases,” the WHO wrote in their report. “The experience obtained so far shows that the disease course of COVID-19 generally is not severe in infants and young children. The main risk of transmission appears to come from the respiratory tract of an infected mother.”
Interestingly, though there are possible ‘fragments’ of COVID-19 in a mother’s milk, WHO said that these viruses are not ‘live’ ones. This means that even if the baby gets the small particles of the virus, the infant won’t be infected, unlike a regular adult.
“Based on the available evidence, WHO’s advice is that the benefits of breastfeeding outweigh any potential risks of transmission of COVID-19,” said Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Friday.
“So, the risk of transmission from mother to child, therefore, so far, has not been established,” added Anshu Banerjee, director of WHO’s Department of Reproductive Health and Research.
COVID-19 positive-mothers don’t have to stay away from their children
If you’re still worried about the health of your baby in the middle of the pandemic, WHO said you don’t have to.
In fact, it was even recommended by the agency to keep a close distance between the mother and the child. Having skin-to-skin contact with the baby is still a safe thing to do, even if you have a virus.
However, mothers should still maintain a safe hygiene protocol when surrounded by the infant. Washing of hands and putting the mask on are still necessities to ensure the baby will not get the virus from any other ways such as through kissing, saliva, etc.