MANILA, Mar 25 (Mabuhay) –Mothers can continue breastfeeding their babies even if they test positive for COVID-19 or have mild symptoms, a doctor who is part of the Healthcare Professionals Alliance Against COVID-19 said Thursday.

Dr. Mianne Silvestre said COVID-positive and symptomatic mothers simply need to take preventive measures such as wearing face masks, washing hands frequently, disinfecting surfaces, and not coughing into parts of their body used to carry babies.

“Yes, even if you’re COVID-positive or have mild symptoms, puwede pa rin talaga and dapat actually i-breastfeed ‘yung baby and for the same reason na baka nata-transmit ‘yung antibody sa baby, all the more na ‘wag dapat hiwalayin po,” she said in a briefing.

“Breast milk itself has not been demonstrated to transmit the virus… The transmission is still the same as us, respiratory, aerosols, and droplets,” she added.

Silvestre also echoed earlier statements by other experts that pregnant and breastfeeding women can get a COVID-19 vaccine after consulting with their doctors.

The Philippine Pediatric Society has said that all COVID-19 vaccines may be offered to breastfeeding women after they speak with their physician, adding that there is no need to discontinue or avoid breastfeeding after vaccination.

Silvestre also said there is “very early evidence” suggesting “a large potential benefit of a vaccinated mother who breastfeeds passing on antibodies against the COVID-19 virus to her infant.”

“Whether or not the level of antibodies in breast milk is sufficient to actually protect the baby against COVID, we still don’t know. This is very preliminary,” she said.

Over 500,000 people have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine as of March 23. (MNS)

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