Breastfeeding must continue despite COVID-19 pandemic, says WHO

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The World Health Organization (WHO) tries to allay fears that lactating mothers may somehow transfer the deadly corona virus to their babies thru breastfeeding. Latest medical research shows no basis to fear.

The novel coronavirus can only be transmitted thru exchange in bodily fluids. Hosts can only infect others thru respiratory droplets, close contact or fomites.

Philippine health authorities say the pandemic is not transferable thru mothers’ milk. DOH undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire says there is simply no evidence of a mother-to-child transmission of SARS-CoV 2.

The fact is— a US study even shows that maternal milk may contain antibodies which protect babies from virus infestation.

Observations made by several firms indicate most women under lockdown are either avoiding or summarily stopping breastfeeding altogether. In the Philippines, Currentph got feedback from organizations involved in community feeding programs tells of thousands of stories of lactating or pregnant mothers having difficulties feeding their babies.

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Most Filipina mothers want to breastfeed but lack or absence of nutrition, force them to consider alternative methods of feeding. Women of reproductive health under extremely cramped conditions inside their houses in shanty communities are the ones most affected by the lockdown.

This explains why KABAYAN partylist Congressman Ron Salo urges the health department to prioritize maternal health, as this is extremely crucial in encouraging breastfeeding among women. How can a malnourished woman of reproductive age breastfeed when she herself, needs help, says Salo.

 

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