Based on the latest data, positive cases of Covid-19 in children aged 1-5 years in Indonesia reached 2.9 percent, with a mortality rate of 0.6 percent.
Although many cases of Covid-19 transmission to children occur in family clusters , breast milk or breast milk is never considered to be the main cause or source of transmission.
This was said by a pediatrician, dr. Andreas, M.Ked(Ped), Sp.A, at the New Parents Amidst the Covid-19 Pandemic event organized by Philips AVENT and Shopee, some time ago.
“Breast milk contains antibodies that are needed for babies. If a breastfeeding mother is infected, the baby must be cared for by healthy family members, but the mother can still provide breast milk by pumping breast milk if physical conditions allow, “he explained.
“Breast milk does not carry the virus from an infected mother. Breast milk can only be contaminated if, during the breastfeeding or pumping process, a droplet of the mother falls into it or hits the baby,” he continued.
In the same event, Covid-19 survivor who is also a presenter, Cherisha Lidia told that when her husband and she and her baby were exposed to the disease, the little one was only one month old.
“I understand the importance of breast milk for babies, because it can provide the antibodies my baby needs to fight viruses and bacteria. So when I tested positive for Covid-19, without hesitation I continued to breastfeed my baby.”
“I consulted a pediatrician and was advised to continue breastfeeding. I did this by pumping breast milk while following strict health protocols,” he continued, quoted by Suara.com from a press release, Friday (13/8/2021).
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that mothers with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 should be encouraged to start or continue breastfeeding.
According to dr. Andreas, this can be done by implementing strict health protocols. She shares some tips so that these mothers can continue to breastfeed:
- Always follow and apply standard health protocols around babies.
- Don’t forget to always wear a mask.
- Wash hands and clean nipples before breastfeeding or pumping.
- Wash and sterilize the breast pump , bottles or equipment before and after use.
Mothers with suspected or confirmed Covid-19 do have bigger challenges, but healthy mothers are also affected by this pandemic, especially for new mothers who are still inexperienced.
This can be a new source of stress for nursing mothers, which can affect their milk production and flow. For that, dr. Andreas said that one of the most important things parents should pay attention to is how to keep mom happy.
“A supportive environment will help reduce stress, allow mothers to continue breastfeeding and care for their little ones more easily,” she concluded.