Breastfeeding & COVID-19
As if being pregnant, and caring for your newborn wasn't stressful enough. Now we have a global pandemic on our hands...
Thankfully, due to incredible organisations like The Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA), we can alleviate some of your potentially worrying concerns. The ABA published a Press Release on March 20th 2020, clarifying the recommendations regarding breastfeeding and COVID-19.
The current advice being "continue breastfeeding and wherever possible keep mother and baby together" (ABA, 2020; Queensland Health, 2020). This doesn't come as a surprise to me considering what we know regarding other viral respiratory infections. Breastmilk is a wonderful thing. Providing not only nutrition and emotional support/bonding; the breastfeeding composition actively changes depending on the immunological condition of mother and baby. Studies have shown that when mother or baby are fighting a virus or infection, there is an increase in breast milk leukocytes (Cacho and Lawrence, 2017; Witkowska-Zimny and Kaminska-El-Hassan, 2017). The lovely leukocytes (white blood cells) are responsible for helping protect the body against infectious diseases and foreign invaders.
So for now, breastfeed away! And help protect that little one.
Cacho, N. and Lawrence, R., 2017. Innate Immunity and Breast Milk.frontiers in Immunology, [online] 8(584), p.3. Available at: <https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fimmu.2017.00584/full> [Accessed 1 April 2020].
Queensland Health, 2020.COVID-19 And Breastfeeding. Queensland: Queensland Health, pp.1-2.
The Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA), 2020. ABA Releases Information About Breastfeeding And COVID-19. [online] Available at: <https://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/sites/default/files/imce/PressRelease_Coronavirus_March2020%20%28002%29.pdf> [Accessed 31 March 2020].
Witkowska-Zimny, M. and Kaminska-El-Hassan, E., 2017. Cells of human breast milk.Cellular & Mollecular Biological Letters, 22(11), pp.1-4.