Wednesday, 19 June, 2024

Breastfeeding offers natural immunity to Coronavirus infected babies: Medical Doctors


By Mahima Devkota, Kathmandu, Aug 1: Medical doctors have recommended breastfeeding to Coronavirus infected babies as it is the best way to develop antibodies in children which helps them to recover from infection.

They suggested that even the Coronavirus infected mother must breastfeed a newborn by adopting some precautionary methods.

According to Dr Bishownath Adhikari, Medical Doctor at Bir Hospital and a pediatric resident at the Kanti Children’s Hospital, a newborn should not be bereft of breastfeeding even if both child and mother have Coronavirus infection.

Dr Adhikari said, “COVID-19 is a diseased state, breastfeeding offers the natural immunity to newborns. In addition, breast milk plays a pivotal role in providing nutrients and antibodies, and supporting with growth and development, which helps children to recover well from infection and remain in good health condition”

Dr Adhikari replied that even the Coronavirus infected mother can breastfeed the baby in the question if the Coronavirus infected mother can breastfeed the baby. However, some precautions are must, that is, a breastfeeding mother with Coronavirus infection must disinfect hands at least 20 seconds before holding and caring for the baby.

Similarly, a Coronavirus infected mother must wear a mask while breastfeeding babies and when within 6 feet of a newborn. However, Coronavirus infected mothers must maintain six feet distance from a child in other situations.

Dr Adhikari further advised the pregnant women as well as breastfeeding mothers to be vaccinated against COVID-19 for chances of developing severities in Coronavirus infection are high in new and expectant mothers.

Dr Richa Nepal, Consultant Physician at the Department of Internal Medicine of Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital said that breast milk is the best source of nutrition for most babies, which helps to meet the nutritional needs of children.

She further added that breastfeeding helps to protect both the mother and newborn from short and long-term illnesses and diseases.

“Children with Coronavirus infection must not be denied with breast milk as it provides necessary nutrients and supports the development of natural antibodies, which in turn helps to keep the newborns healthy. Babies who are breastfed have a lower risk of asthma, obesity, severe lower respiratory diseases as well.” She said.

She assured expectant and new parents that there are no negative impacts of breastfeeding by Coronavirus infected mothers or to breastfeed the Coronavirus infected newborn.