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Mother’s Milk Increases Immunity, COVID-19 Afflicted Infants Should Be Breastfed, But With Caution

Bhubaneswar: In the midst of queries and apprehensions pertaining COVID-19 infection, mothers of afflicted infants wonder whether they can breastfeed the child. Will the infection spread, by feeding a toddler who is infected with coronavirus, is a question many mothers ponder upon.

Responding to a series of questions on home isolation of children and infants, noted pediatrician Dr Arabinda Mohanty said, mother’s milk is very essential in such circumstances as it boosts the immunity of the child. “A mother should certainly breastfeed her child who is affected. But she must ensure putting on a mask and avoiding further contact, apart from the feeding activity,” Dr Mohanty said.

“A child may not develop full blown symptoms or get critical but there are chances of the mother having comorbidity or low immunity. In such cases, she can be infected. So, while mother’s milk is very essential for the child to recover from COVID-19, the mother should be careful and cautious while feeding.”

He highlighted the significance of immunisation. “The immunisation produces antibodies which act as a shield against COVID-19. The parents should not avoid immunisation under the garb of COVID scare. There are many hospitals and immunisation centres which are safe,” Dr Mohanty said.

Speaking about infected children in the age-group of two to six, Dr Mohanty said they can use the same bathroom as adult members of the family. However, isolation is very important and must be ensured for a child infected with COVID-19. The bathroom should be disinfected completely, after it is used by the child.

The care-taker of the child, mother in most cases needs to practice COVID hygiene guidelines such as social distance, wearing mask and hand sanitisation very sincerely. In case the child comes in close contact out of innocence, the care-taker should immediately disinfect him or her, he added.

“If a child wears mask then the purpose of arresting infection spread is served better. Keep the child active and happy by this the child’s immunity increases and the recovery is faster. However, the care taker should be careful not to exhaust the child,” Dr Mohanty concluded.

Dr Arabinda Mohanty, Pediatrician

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