Breastfeeding practices are apparently on a significant downturn since the coronavirus outbreak began, for the most part due to a great deal of misinformation. The fear is that it could damage development in newborns. There is no reliable information to support this fear. The World Health Organization (WHO) advises new parents who wish to breastfeed to do so for at least six months to a year. This advice has yet to change in response to the outbreak.
But rumors have caused breastfeeding to plummet across the globe.
Alex Iellama, global adviser at Save the Children UK, said, “In certain hospitals the breastfeeding rates…dropped by 40 to 50 percent.”
Nutritional legal specialist David Clark said, “When babies are born, their immune systems aren’t really functioning yet. Nature has intended that they get their initial immunity from the mother’s breast milk. We know that up until now…there’s been no evidence of transmission of active of active COVID virus through breast milk, so breastfeeding is still very important and to be protected.”
Some rumors say that coronavirus can spread through a mother’s milk. Others that the viral load in the air can land in pumped milk and contaminate it. There is no reason to believe in these rumors or any others. Trustworthy information will continue to be disseminated by the WHO and CDC and other reputable organizations.
Clark added, “Each country will determine what is the best way to reach the policymakers, but then of course it has to get down to the mothers, the caregivers. We’re trying to ensure that we’re all getting the same message. We’re making sure that we have the same information that is consistent and that it’s using whatever media is appropriate in the context.”
Keep in mind that babies have no natural immunity to COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus. But the disease seems to be much more dangerous to older generations, unlike the flu, which targets both younger and older.