World Breastfeeding Week-2020 amidst COVID

KATHMANDU, AUGUST 7

As the world marks Breastfeeding Week amidst the COVID-19 pandemic spread, World Health Organisation and partners are focusing on increasing mothers’ access to skilled breastfeeding support, calling on governments to protect and promote skilled counselling, a critical component of breastfeeding support.

The World Breastfeeding Week-2020, is observed from August 1 to 7. This year WHO and UNICEF are advocating for ‘Support breastfeeding for a healthier planet’.

“Now, more than ever, countries and programmes must make efforts to ensure that every mother and family receive the guidance and support they need to breastfeed their children.

Skilled breastfeeding counselling is key to improving breastfeeding rates and helps extend the duration of breastfeeding and promote exclusive breastfeeding” said Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, New Delhi-based Regional Director, WHO South-East Asia.

As COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve and accelerate, WHO has taken decisive actions to promote, protect and support breastfeeding across countries in the South-East Asia Region.

WHO recommends that mothers with suspected or confirmed symptoms of COVID-19 should continue to breastfeed, with appropriate precautions such as wearing a mask and practicing respiratory hygiene. Mother and child should also stay together and practice skin to skin contact including kangaroo mother care, especially immediately after the birth of a child and while establishing breastfeeding – regardless of whether mother or child are suspected of or have confirmed symptoms of COVID-19.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on August 8, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.