The Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) on Wednesday instructed all healthcare organisations to allow mothers to continue breastfeeding their infants even if they have tested Covid-19 positive.
The WCD ministry stated that breastfeeding helps to protect a baby and as per the guidelines by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, it is safe to breastfeed by mothers who are suspected or confirmed of the Covid-19 infection.
The ministry said that the novel coronavirus is not found in amniotic fluid or breast milk, reassuring that the virus is not transmitted during pregnancy or through breastfeeding.
Our Field functionaries/Health care providers re-assure and provide support to all mothers to initiate and continue to breastfeed their infants – even if they are suspected or confirmed to have #COVID19.#BreastfeedBestFeed #FoodandNutritionBoard pic.twitter.com/cIzmaWoKZg
— Ministry of WCD (@MinistryWCD) August 5, 2020
“Field functionaries/healthcare providers should reassure and support all mothers to initiate and continue to breastfeed their infants as per the guidelines of WHO and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare – even if they are suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19,” the ministry tweeted.
“Wash your hands thoroughly with soap or sanitizer before and after contact with your child. In case of complementary feeding, feed the infant or young child with a cup and wash hands with soap and water before handling cups, bottles, teats, etc and limit the number of caregivers feeding the infant,” said in another tweet.
Earlier on Tuesday, the WHO ruled out the risk of getting infected by Covid-19 from breastfeeding and said it is never documented. It said that the breast milk does not carry the novel coronavirus and it is safe for the infant and for the mother.
The advisory came during the World Breastfeeding Week, observed every year from August 1 to 7. The week is observed to promote the breastfeeding to the infants for the first six months of life.