SOS for mother’s milk floods social media as Covid hits pregnant women, here’s what doctors say

It has now grow to be traditional to return throughout SOS calls for hospital beds, Covid medicines and oxygen on social media. But, the necessity for donor human milk is making a gradual look as extra pregnant ladies get critically affected after testing optimistic for Covid-19.

The demand for donor milk elevated with Covid optimistic moms both being admitted to Intensive Care Units or in instances when the moms succumbed to the an infection. It is usually wanted within the case of preterm infants.

There can also be a bent to ask lactating moms, producing further milk, to assist when a mom is both not producing sufficient or is critically in poor health. But doctors say vet nursing might expose the newborn to infections and isn’t really useful. In instances the place there are two nursing moms in the identical household and each have taken exams for infections, it could possibly be an possibility. However, it is not one thing really useful until there isn’t a different possibility obtainable.

READ: Covid positive during pregnancy? Doctors say don’t panic, here’s what you should do

In case the newborn isn’t preterm, however the mom is unwell and never in a situation to breastfeed, doctors mentioned the newborn will be safely given method feed. It is just when the newborn is preterm that donor milk is required.

The reserve in milk banks can also be scanty because of the lockdown and most donors are apprehensive of contracting the virus despite the fact that doctors say the milk is extracted in a means that leaves no room for any type of transmission of coronavirus to a lactating mom.

It is pertinent to notice that doctors say breastfeeding is inspired even when the mom is contaminated with the virus as the possibility of vertical transmission is negligible. However, Covid will increase the possibility of untimely deliveries and in that case, donor’s human milk turns into a necessity.

Dr. Shelly Singh, Senior Consultant Obstetrics and Gynecologist at Rosewalk Hospitals, Delhi mentioned, “We only recommend donor’s milk in case of premature deliveries, which could be caused by Covid. In cases where the mother is infected with Covid but in a position to breastfeed, we will not recommend donor’s milk. Donor’s milk is only given as medicine to premature babies, and on the recommendation of doctors.”


Doctors chatting with burdened the truth that breastfeeding is inspired even when the mom is contaminated with Covid-19 and probabilities of vertical transmission is negligible. But they maintained that washing of arms and correct masking is necessary when a mom is breastfeeding her child.

The World Health Organisation in its scientific brief had mentioned, “WHO recommends that mothers with suspected or confirmed Covid-19 should be encouraged to initiate or continue to breastfeed. Mothers should be counselled that the benefits of breastfeeding substantially outweigh the potential risks for transmission. Mother and infant should be enabled to remain together while rooming-in throughout the day and night and to practice skin-to-skin contact, including kangaroo mother care, especially immediately after birth and during establishment of breastfeeding, whether they or their infants have suspected or confirmed Covid-19.”

Dr. Raghuram Mallaiah, Director Neonatology Fortis La Femme and Founder of Amaara Human Milk Bank mentioned, “Mother’s own milk is not processed, whereas donor’s milk is processed and pasteurised. We first test the mother for infections and collect the milk and pasteurise it without compromising on the nutritional value. However, there is a strong possibility that some of the protective effects of the milk could be destroyed. So always, the mother’s milk is the first priority. The milk bank milk is only used as a substitute and as a rule, this milk is only supplied to Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs) where there are preterm babies who are vulnerable to other diseases, where if you give them formula milk, they might fall sick and might even lead to death. We have a certain set of criteria to supply this milk to babies.”

Speaking on the elevated demand for donor’s milk and lack of provide, Dr. Naveen Parkash Gupta, Senior Consultant Neonatology, Madhukar Rainbow Children’s Hospital in Delhi mentioned, “Because of the lockdown the collection of milk from voluntary donors have seen a decrease. Second, Covid has increased premature deliveries and this milk is especially good for the premature intestine as it substantially reduces chances of Necrotising Enterocolitis – a dangerous illness for babies.”


Even although cries for human milk for new child infants are heart-wrenching, taking assist from particular person lactating moms is extremely discouraged. Doctors are strongly urgent for approaching milk banks in case such want arises – solely when the newborn is preterm.

When requested about vet nursing, Dr. Raghuram Mallaiah mentioned, “We will not recommend vet nursing as that could expose the baby to various infections. It is something families do when there are two nursing mothers and one is not being able to feed, but medically, it is not advisable.”

Dr. Naveen Parkash Gupta additionally underscored the chance related to vet nursing, he mentioned at a milk financial institution the donor’s milk goes by way of varied processes in order that it’s secure for the newborn and the donor mom can also be examined for infections, thereby, mitigating any danger to the newborn – which couldn’t be the case in vet nursing.

Dr. Raghuram Mallaiah, Director Neonatology Fortis La Femme and Founder of Amaara Human Milk Bank additionally appealed to lactating moms producing further milk to donate to milk banks as Covid has led to extra untimely deliveries, thereby rising the demand for donor’s milk. He additionally mentioned below the present circumstances the milk is collected from the donor mother’s home with correct guidelines in place to not expose her to Covid-19.

READ: Covid-19 in children: Here’s how to identify symptoms and what parents should know

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