Fearing transmitting the virus to their infant, many pregnant mothers have shifted to formula instead of feeding them breastmilk. Experts reiterate that several studies have proven that Covid-19 is not transmitted through breastfeeding.
“The contact with the infant in the initial weeks is crucial. UNICEF and WHO standards have proved that it is not dangerous, and in fact, they recommend continuing breastfeeding at this time,” said Teena Abishek, natal care and lactation expert.
According to Dr Jayashree Jayakrishnan, lactation consultant, Fortis Malar Hospital, posture itself is poor among many women in the city. “Owing to the nuclear family system in the city, many women do not have the support system to feed properly. Due to the pandemic, it has been difficult for women to seek the help they need on correct feeding posture,” she said. Nutrition is also another source of concern among young mothers. According to Abishek, many mothers are concerned that the diet they follow to build immunity against COVID-19 might affect lactation. “This is not a concern. Many mothers also try to take lactating-inducing foods for fear of being unable to produce enough milk. As it is based on hormone production, consulting an expert will help,” she said.
Dr Jayakrishnan reiterated consulting an expert at this time, and not to worry about breast size and milk quantity at this time. She also tells family members to emotionally support young mothers at this time.