Srinagar, May 07: Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) on Friday said lactating mothers who are positive for Covid-19 infection can breastfeed their babies.
“Breastfeeding in newborns of mothers with Covid is totally safe,” said DAK President and influenza expert Dr Nisar ul Hassan.
“There is no evidence that the virus can spread through mother’s milk,” he said.
Quoting a study published in Lancet, Dr Hassan said mothers with Covid-19 are unlikely to pass the virus to their newborns.
“The study found no case of transmission of the virus from the mother to the baby after 2 weeks of breastfeeding,” he said.
Dr Hassan said hygiene precautions are to be observed during feeding.
“Lactating mothers should wash hands before and after touching the baby and wear a mask while nursing,” he said.
“It is not advisable to use a mask on newborn unless they are at least 2 years of age.”
The DAK President said if the mother is separated from the newborn, expressed milk by hand or pump should be given to the baby.
“Use your own breast pump and wear a mask during expression,” he said.
“Wash your hands before touching any pump or bottle parts or before expressing breast milk. Clean all parts of the pump and bottle after each use,” he added.
“If you are unable to start producing milk or if you have to temporarily stop breastfeeding during your Covid-19 illness, because you don’t feel well enough, get help from a lactating support provider,” said Dr Nisar.
“Breast milk is the best source of nutrients for newborns and keeps their immunity high. It protects the newborns from getting sick and also helps protect them throughout their infancy and childhood. Breastfeeding should be initiated within 1 hour of the birth and continued exclusively for 6 months and introduce adequate and safe complimentary food at age 6 months and continue breastfeeding up to 2 years of age or beyond,” he said.