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Breastfeeding during COVID-19 pandemic

Updated: Aug 6, 2021

We are in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic and it understandable for Kenyan mothers to raise questions on whether it is still okay to continue breastfeeding their children even when they suspect that they have corona virus.

Well, UNICEF advises that it is still okay to do so but follow the 3Ws to the letter.

The 3Ws on Breastfeeding while Infected with Covid-19

The argument is that when a mother contracts corona virus before giving birth or when she has already started breastfeeding, her body produces antibodies that protect the child from contracting the virus.

The corona virus has also not been found in breastmilk.

The 3 Ws are:

Wear a face mask while breastfeeding

Wash your hands thoroughly with clean water and soap before touching your baby

Wipe and disinfect surfaces regularly

If the mother is too sick to breastfeed her baby, she could still express milk and ask a caregiver or a family member to feed the baby using a clean cup and spoon.

At times, some mothers might choose formula milk to feed their children. This could be that the mother is not producing breastmilk, has refused to breastfeed the baby or that she is unavailable due to other commitments.

Though UNICEF does not encourage this since breast milk is the best nutritious and healthy food for your baby, you should follow the instructions on the formula milk packaging as well as observe the 3Ws when feeding your baby.

When a breastfeeding mother starts having difficulty in breathing, has a cold, fever or cough, she should visit her local healthcare providers to advise her accordingly.

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