Can Breast Milk Protect Infants from COVID-19? Here's What Experts Say
The pandemic continues along with the rolling of the COVID-19 vaccine after the different industries get affected by the slumber the quarantine has previously caused. With people slowly regai8ning the bravery to go out and fend for themselves in adherence with the COVID-19 safety protocols the government has issued, people are slowly getting back on the street. The only aspect of humanity is childbirth, and which means the infants need breast milk.
People, especially mothers, are worried about the risk their child will be taking amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Now a new study examines whether breastmilk can help protect the infant against coronavirus, given that they are vulnerable in their early months?
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Breast Milk and COVID-19
In a report by NBC Dallas Forth Worth (NBCDFW), the researchers from Cincinnati Children's Medical Center point out that liquid gold or breast milk can protect infants against COVID-19.
Assistant professor and Ob-Gyn clerkship director from the Texas Christian University and the UNT Health Science Center School of Medicine, Dr. Shanna Combs, shares with NBCDFW that the researchers are looking to see if breastmilk can be another option in gaining antibodies. Combs added that children are not to be vaccinated since it has not yet been studied in them.
A study entitled Breastfeeding, the Immune Response, and Long Term Health, which is published in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, suggests that human breast milk encompasses numerous protective factors against infectious disease and may have the ability to influence immune system development. They add that previous studies note this.
Combs adds in their interview that COVID-19 is mainly transported through respiratory droplets; wearing a mask while doing it is beneficial for the baby. She also adds that mothers can donate to milk banks and pump breast milk if an infant is premature.
Is it safe to breastfeed amid COVID-19?
Physical contact is the utmost worry of mothers amid pandemic. Kids Health exclaims that coronavirus has not been detected in breast milk. However, if you have the virus, they said you could transmit the virus through tiny respiratory droplets that can spread when you talk, cough, or sneeze.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends mothers who have been suspected with COVID-19 to continue breastfeeding their infant because the benefits a child can get from breast milk overwhelms the risk COVID-19 offers. They also add that skinship or skin-to-skin contact is also encouraged, especially if they are newborns, whether they or their infant has contracted the virus.
Unicef reminds that if a mother plans to breastfeed, they have to practice good hygiene to prevent infection, such as wearing a mask during breastfeeding, washing hands with soap and water before and after touching the infant, and wipe and disinfect the surrounding surfaces regularly.
Breastmilk is very important for the babies, and a mother should not risk the child's nutrition because of COVID-19. With these shreds of evidence, it is safe to say that breastfeeding is safe and vital in developing the infants' immune system, which will protect them against coronavirus and other viruses that can cause ailments.
Related article: Breastfeeding During COVID-19 Pandemic: What You Need to Know?
WATCH: Breastfeeding during COVID-19 froim the World Health Organization (WHO)