Mothers infected with COVID-19 should continue breastfeeding their babies: WHO

World

Breastfeeding mothers do not seem to be passing on the coronavirus to their infants, a World Health Organization (WHO) expert said on Friday (Jun 12).

File photo of an infant (Photo: Jeremy Long)

13 Jun 2020 08:32AM
(Updated: 13 Jun 2020 08:35AM)

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ZURICH: New mothers infected with COVID-19 should generally continue breastfeeding and should not be separated from their babies, the World Health Organization said Friday (Jun 12), stressing that the benefits outweighed the risks.

WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that it had carefully investigated the risks of women transmitting COVID-19 to their babies during breastfeeding.

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"We know that children are at relatively low risk of COVID-19, but are at high risk of numerous other diseases and conditions that breastfeeding prevents," Tedros told a news conference.

"Based on the available evidence, WHOs advice is that the benefits of breastfeeding outweigh any potential risks of transmission of COVID-19.

"Mothers with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 should be encouraged to initiate and continue breastfeeding and not be separated from their infants, unless the mother is too unwell," Tedros said.

READ: Undaunted by COVID-19 and border controls, Malaysian mums in Singapore send breast milk to babies back home

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