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Mothers should breastfeed even if they have coronavirus, WHO says

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A mother should breastfeed her newborn baby even if she has a suspected or confirmed case of the new coronavirus, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Friday.

“Based on the available evidence, WHO’s advice is that the benefits of breastfeeding outweigh any potential risks of transmission of COVID-19,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a press briefing.

“Mothers with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 should be encouraged to initiate and continue breastfeeding and not be separated from their infants unless the mother is too unwell,” he said.

Tedros noted that evidence suggests children are at lower risk for catching the coronavirus than adults but are at high risk of coming down with diseases and other conditions that breastfeeding helps prevent.

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