'Keep breastfeeding' even if you have COVID-19, advises the WHO
Patrick Atack

Mothers with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 should continue to breastfeed, World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has said. 

Speaking at the WHO's regular online news conferences, Adhanom Ghebreyesus said this was WHO Breastfeeding Week 2020, and "breastfeeding provides every child with the best possible start in life."

Although concerns were understandable, the WHO boss made it clear that in the UN organization's view, mothers should continue to breastfeed their children for the first six months of life. 

He said that this key stage of a child's development, along with skin-to-skin contact soon after birth, remained crucial. 

Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that even in situations where a mother or child was suspected of having, or had even tested positive for COVID-19, breastfeeding should continue. 

"WHO recommends that mothers with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 should be encouraged the same as all other mothers to initiate or continue breastfeeding," Adhanom Ghebreyesus said. 

"The many benefits of breastfeeding for newborn babies and children substantially outweigh the potential risks of COVID-19 infections," he explained.