BREASTFEEDING DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC
PAHO/WHO continues to recommend that standard infant feeding guidelines be adhered to during the COVID-19 pandemic. The standard infant feeding guidelines are:
- Initiation of breastfeeding within one hour of birth,
- Exclusive breastfeeding until babies are six months old, and
- Continued breastfeeding along with nutritionally adequate and safe complementary foods, until age two years old or beyond.
The benefits of breastfeeding and nurturing mother-infant interaction to prevent infection and promote health and development are especially important when health and other community services are themselves disrupted or limited
Mothers and infants should be supported to remain together, and practice skin-to-skin contact and/or kangaroo care whether or not they or their infants have suspected, probable, or confirmed COVID-19 virus infection. Breastfeeding counseling, basic psychosocial support, and practical feeding support should be provided to all pregnant women and mothers with infants and young children.