The health benefits of breast milk for a newborn are not unknown. Breast milk is said to lay the right foundation for an infant as it contains antibodies that help your baby fight off viruses and bacteria. However, amid the coronavirus pandemic, concerns have been raised whether mothers with COVID-19 must breastfeed or not. Breast milk does just boost the immunity of the baby, but also lowers your baby's risk of having asthma or allergies. Therefore should the babies be deprived of all these benefits because of coronavirus? It is said that babies who are breastfed exclusively for the first 6 months, without any formula, have fewer infections and respiratory illnesses. Here's what's WHO's recommendation about mothers with COVID-19 breastfeeding.

Can Mothers with COVID-19 Transmit the SARS-CoV-2 Virus?

According to WHO's recommends, "mothers with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 should be encouraged to initiate or continue to breastfeed." It also urges that mothers should be counselled that the "benefits of breastfeeding substantially outweigh the potential risks for transmission." WHO also believes that mother and infant should remain together while "rooming-in throughout the day and night and to practice skin-to-skin contact, including kangaroo mother care, especially immediately after birth and during establishment of breastfeeding, whether they or their infants have suspected or confirmed COVID-19."

Recently, the Sassoon General Hospital here in Maharashtra has claimed to have reported the country's first case of 'vertical transmission' of the coronavirus infection from a mother to her child through the placenta.

Vertical transmission takes place when the baby is in the uterus. If the mother is infected, the transmission of the virus takes place through the placenta- an organ that develops in the uterus during pregnancy and provides oxygen and nutrients to your growing baby.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Aug 03, 2020 09:12 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website