Experts say breastfeeding can help protect babies against COVID-19

Health News

HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) – Annual breastfeeding week is held August 1-7 recognizing women in their efforts to breastfeed and to celebrate breastfeeding as an investment in health. Here is some interesting information about covid-19 and breastfeeding you may not know.

Health experts at Conway Medical Center said the mother’s body will produce more milk with illness-specific antibodies to fight off infection whether you or your baby are sick.

According to the CDC, recent reports have shown mothers who are breastfeeding and received the COVID-19 vaccine have antibodies in their breastmilk, which could help protect their babies.

“Your body is fighting off that infection so that breast milk alters as well just to help the baby,” said lactation consultant and registered nurse, Laura Baisch. “They have found that the breast tissue acts as a sort of vacuum, that’s where that alteration in antibodies and composition comes from because the mothers body knows there is something going on here.”

More data is needed to determine what protection these antibodies may provide to the baby.

The week was designed to create awareness among new parents and improve infant health around the world. Health experts say breast feeding can benefit both the mom and her baby.

Some of the benefits include reducing respiratory illnesses, ear infections and gastrointestinal problems in babies. For moms, it’ll reduce the chances of developing breast and ovarian cancer, type 2 diabetes as well as heart disease. Health experts at Conway Medical Center said most importantly, breast feeding can also create a bond between the mother and her baby. According to the CDC, a recent study found that only 1 in 4 people think a woman is less likely to develop breast cancer later in life if she breastfeeds.

“Skin to skin as soon as mom and baby are stable. There are so many benefits of bonding, baby breast feeds better, their vital signs stabilize and their temperature stabilizes. Their blood sugar stabilizes,” Baisch said.

Health experts said they have resources available like early childhood classes for new moms. For more information on those classes, click here.

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