Till now, the COVID-19 virus has not been detected in breastmilk. Researchers have collected and tested breastmilk samples (at first lactation) from women who have tested COVID positive during pregnancy. However, these samples were tested negative for the virus.
With studies done so far, it has been said that breastfeeding substantially outweighs the potential risks for virus transmission. Moreover, experts claim that COVID-19 disease is not severe in infants and young children.
As experts continue to learn more about the virus and what kind of risks it poses, health officials and doctors recommend infected mothers to continue with breastfeeding. Infact, as per WHO (World Health Organisation), a mother can breastfeed, even if she develops symptoms of coronavirus infection such as fever or a cough. However, before breastfeeding, mothers need to follow the below instructions, to avoid spreading the virus to her infant.
- Wear a mask or cloth before nursing
- Wash hands and sanitize before touching the baby
- Let someone else in the family, help hold the baby while breastfeeding
- Routinely clean and disinfect surfaces that are touched
- Consult doctors regularly, for guidance
Mothers who are infected might feel a little weak due to the illness, however, they can increase their milk production by following a healthy diet plan.
The following food items can be included in the breastfeeding meal plan.
- Milk and Dairy Products
- Whole Grain
- Beans and Legumes
- Dark Green Leafy Vegetables
- Spices and herbs like methi seeds (fenugreek), saunf (fennel), jeera (cumin seeds), moti eliachi (black cardamom), ajwain (caraway seeds), etc and ayurvedic herbs like shatavari, moringa, etc can be consumed.
Lastly, one should try to stay relaxed and happy, no matter what. It will not only help increase the milk production but will also help the mother recover from the infection quickly.
Lactating mothers or breastfeeding mothers can also get in touch with Kanupriya Khanna for some lactation diet tips. One of the best lactation nutritionists, she can help you with a good post-delivery diet for breastfeeding.