COVID-19 and Kangaroo Mother care
Benefits of breastfeeding outweigh the risks of COVID 19 infection to newborns and their mothers
It should be promoted as early as possible either as direct breastfeeding or as expressed breast milk. Mother should observe suitable precautions like respiratory hygiene, hand hygiene including proper hand washing before and after feeding and touching any surfaces and cleaning surfaces and other measures of infection prevention and control of COVID 19 infection.
Early skin to skin contact between mother and her freshly born baby should be promoted in all possible cases, soon after birth excepting those neonates who require resuscitation or any other immediate lifesaving interventions. Mother and the baby should not have the pangs and pains of separation.
A loving hug in the form of prolonged skin to skin contact /Kangaroo Mother Care including Breast milk feeding should be particularly offered for preterm and low birth weight babies as per the guidelines and followed by planned early discharge and regular scheduled follow up for monitoring growth, immunizations and neuro development of the infant. It helps not only in the facilities but also for continued care at home by mothers with competence and confidence leading to better neonatal outcome in terms of physical and mental wellbeing (Good nurture and thriving)
Health care providers including doctors and nurses and the policy makers must have adequate knowledge and skills for the promotion of KMC including techniques of breast feeding and cultivate proper attitude and skills for good counselling and psychosocial support and enable the mother , preferably with her family members to take an appropriate shared decision.
Up to date data collection from trusted sources like WHO, National and local public health authorities, good analysis and ongoing research should simultaneously continue and policy changes are made accordingly as required. The situation is unpredictable. So latest news should be checked regularly.
The health care providers should take adequate precautions and preparations to avoid the risk of COVID infection to themselves during patient care.”