COVID-19 outbreak has caused a lot of turmoil in the societies across the globe. While it has raised doubts and questions in the mind of each and every person in general regarding what they can and cannot do in case tested COVID-19 positive, one question is bothering the mothers too. The question is whether breastfeeding the infant is safe if a mother is tested COVID-19 positive? It is claimed that the breast milk plays a very insignificant role if any in the transmission of most of the respiratory viruses from the mother to the child. To put in clear words without talking about the safety, the answer would be that yes, you can breastfeed your child in case you are tested COVID-19 positive or also in case you have symptoms of the same.
Precautions to be taken while breastfeeding the baby
However, you need to follow all the precautions and safety measures while you breast feed the baby with you having symptoms of COVID-19. According to UNICEF, the importance of breastfeeding cannot be ignored at any cost. Irrespective of the health of the mother, the vital role that mothers milk play in the development of the baby, even if the mother is tested COVID-19 positive she can continue to breastfeed the baby provided that all the precautionary measure are taken with due care. Here are some of the steps that you need to take:
- In order to prevent spreading the virus to your infant it is required that you properly wash your hands with soap and water before touching your baby. Have a good supply of hand wash that is suggested by your doctor instead of using the ones available in the market with an intention of offering good fragrance with killing germs being the matter of secondary importance.
- You ought to wear a face mask when you sit down to breast feed your baby in order to not spread it to your child.
- You need to sanitize the pump or the bottle parts and wash them properly before using these to feed the baby. Make use of dish washing bar that is strong enough to kill the germs. You can also sterilize the bottle and other parts by placing them in boiling water before using each time.
- Do not touch any of the things that you use for the baby with unwashed hands as it can have detrimental impacts and result in spread of the virus from you to your baby.
- Try to maintain distance with the baby when your face is not covered with the mask.
Studies on breastfeeding and being COVID-19 positive
Till date here are very limited studies that have been done on the spread of this particular virus to the baby via mother’s breast milk. It cannot be claimed with surety if there is a possibility of spreading the COVID-19 virus via breast milk. However, to be more precise at present the risk of spreading virus to the child through breast milk remains a secondary concern. The primary concern remains spread of COVID-19 virus from mother to baby via the physical touch and the respiratory droplets while breastfeeding.
Though mothers are concerned about spreading the virus to abbes while breastfeeding after they are tested COVID-19 positive but the major concern here remains not the breast milk being the carrier but the respiratory droplets that can surely bother the child if you fail to take proper precautions. The importance of mother’s breast milk in the life of a child is undeniable and thus you need to feed your child the same but taking precautions is utmost important.