UAE National Breastfeeding Week counters COVID-19 misinformation


Abu Dhabi Health Services Company, the UAE’s largest public healthcare network, is hosting the annual National Breastfeeding Week, and offering pandemic advice.

The campaign is being held at the Corniche Hospital, Abu Dhabi, Madina Zayed Hospital, and Al Dhafra Hospital.

It aims to promote the importance of breastfeeding for the healthcare of mothers and babies.

The drive is also continuing to counter misinformation regarding the transmission of the COVID-19 virus.

Research conducted earlier this year by the Corniche Hospital studied 73 infants born to women who had tested positive for the coronavirus during their pregnancies.

Over a period of 76 days, practitioners evaluated the rate of transmission of the virus from mother to infant during their hospital stay and period of breastfeeding.

Most babies born to COVID-19 positive mothers tested negative for the virus, and the few that tested positive did not develop any symptoms or adverse effects from the virus.

SEHA has implemented guidelines for mothers who have tested positive for COVID-19.

These include wearing a mask during feeding, washing hands with soap and water before and after touching the baby, wiping and disinfecting surfaces regularly with disinfecting solution and keeping the baby cot separated by two-metre distance from the mother’s bed.

Studies by the World Health Organisation into the benefits of breastfeeding for mothers have shown that for every year a woman breastfed, her chances of contracting breast cancer decreased by 4.3 per cent.

The risk of contracting ovarian cancer also dropped by a third for women who breastfed, in addition to a decreased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Postpartum breastfeeding is also considered to be an excellent way of helping a mother return to her pre-baby body, as it acts as a healthy and natural method of weight loss.

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