How mothers should breastfeed babies during the coronavirus pandemic

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 06 2020 05:50 PM

A woman breastfeeds a baby. File

MANILA - Mothers can still breastfeed their newborn babies during the coronavirus pandemic for as long as precautionary measures are in place, a pediatrician said Wednesday.

Mothers should wear face masks when breastfeeding to avoid the possibility of infecting newborns with COVID-19, Dr. Anna Ong-Lim, president of the Pediatric Infectious Disease Society of the Philippines said.

"Maaari naman pong mag-breastfeed basta iingatan... Yung ating bibig, ilong parating nakatakip para di po natin malipatan ng mikrobyo ang ating babies," she said.

(You can breastfeed but be careful...Cover your mouth and nose to avoid transferring bacteria to babies.)

Aside from wearing face masks, Ong-Lim said mothers should wash their hands frequently and be mindful of COVID-19 symptoms such as fever, coughs, and throat pains.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire added that mothers should wash their breasts first before breastfeeding.

To ensure the health of newborns, Ong-Lim reminded mothers to keep in mind the immunization schedule of their babies since COVID-19 is not the only disease that they could be sick with.

She said mothers should contact their babies' pediatricians or coordinate with health centers for vaccination.

"Hindi naman po nagpahinga yung ibang mikrobyo dahil nagkaroon lang po ng COVID...So let's please remember our vaccination schedule," she said.

(Other microbes did not rest just because there is COVID-19.)

The Philippines on Wednesday breached the 10,000-mark in its tally of COVID-19 cases with 320 new cases recorded, bringing the total to 10,004. The figure includes 658 deaths, and 1,506 recoveries.