UAE: Covid-positive mums can continue breastfeeding their babies

Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

Abu Dhabi - The centre highlighted that breastfeeding provides protection against diseases, “the most important of which are viruses”.



by

A Staff Reporter

Published: Mon 2 Aug 2021, 12:22 PM

Women must continue breastfeeding their children even if they are infected with Covid-19, a UAE-based health authority has said.

Taking to Twitter, the Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre (ADPHC) stressed that mums must adhere to all Covid safety precautions like wearing a mask when breastfeeding their babies.

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The centre highlighted that breastfeeding provides protection against diseases, “the most important of which are viruses”.

The message came as the world marks Breastfeeding Week 2021 that began on Sunday, August 1.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) also recommends that Covid-positive mothers must continue to breastfeed their babies.

Citing studies, the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) states on its website that the virus has not been found in the amniotic fluid or breast milk. Pregnant women can’t pass the virus to the foetus, but an infected person can do so to babies, the authority said.

“To date, the virus has not been found in samples of amniotic fluid or breast milk and so is believed to not infect the foetus or spread from breastfeeding,” the DHA website says.

Dos and don’ts

The DHA advises that women who have Covid symptoms must do the following:

>> Wash your hands well before breastfeeding

>> Wear a face mask

>> Wash or wipe your breast well before and after breastfeeding

If you decide to pump breast milk:

>> You should have your own dedicated pump

>> Wash your hands well before touching the pump

>> Follow the correct cleaning directions of the pump after each use

>> You can store pumped milk in the fridge for up to three days and in the freezer for up to six months.

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According to the Unicef, mothers who get coronavirus shortly before giving birth and begin breastfeeding, and those who become infected while breastfeeding, will produce immune factors (antibodies) in their milk to protect their baby and enhance the baby’s own immune responses.

“This means that continuing to breastfeed is the best way to fight the virus and protect your baby,” Unicef says on its website.


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