This emerged during the World Breastfeeding Week which is a global campaign to raise awareness on themes related to breastfeeding. According to WHO, in the communities of all socio-economic settings, breastfeeding improves survival and provides lifelong health as well as development advantage to new-borns and infants as well as improves the health of the mothers.
Following this finding, WHO says a newly born baby should immediately be placed skin-to-skin to the mother and breastfed even if the mother is suspected or has been confirmed to have COVID-19. Placing the new-born close to the mother also enables early initiation of breastfeeding, which also reduces mortality, WHO notes, adding that the numerous benefits of skin-toskin contact and breastfeeding substantially outweigh the potential risks of transmission and illness associated with COVID-19.
Dr Hana Bekele from WHO said women suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 can breastfeed if they so wish, warning, however, that they should frequently wash their hands with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand rub especially before touching the babies. She said they should always put on their face masks whenever they have any form of contact with the babies, including while feeding them.