There is enough evidence that supports the importance of breastfeeding to maintain the health of the infant and the mother. However, the importance further increased during the coronavirus pandemic due to the latest research over the past year.
According to the researchers, the breast milk from a Covid-19 recovered mother consists of coronavirus antibodies. These natural antibodies can protect the child against the novel coronavirus.
Breastfeeding is an environmentally friendly way to provide nutrition to a child and also prevent illness in the infant. Moreover, breast milk consists of essential nutrients that help in the growth and development throughout the life of the child.
Apart from nutrition, breast milk also provides an immune response and helps the development of the microbiome in the body. The researchers found various essential components in breast milk that can prevent several diseases.
It consists of live cells, hormones, enzymes, and antibodies that protect from autoimmune diseases including cancer and diabetes. Researchers suggest that these naturally produced compounds can help the development of advanced therapies against these diseases and the treatment of coronavirus infection.
Even though there is extensive research carried out related to the importance of breastfeeding, scientists are not fully aware of the benefits and constituents of breast milk. Breastfeeding also promotes a bond between the mother and the infant.
Another surprising benefit of breastfeeding includes the prevention of ovarian and breast cancer in mothers. However, most of the mothers do not complete the total breastfeeding period which decreased even further during the pandemic.
During the coronavirus pandemic, the mothers with coronavirus infection are living separately from their infant to avoid the risk of transmitting infection. Also, the infants are unable to get breast milk due to the closure of several lactation services during the pandemic. At this time, most of the new parents are relying on formula milk during this period.
A huge gap exists in research related to the importance of breastfeeding and how it affects the life of a child. Moreover, researchers should also highlight the lactation difficulties and social inequities present in society at this time.
The nonprofit organizations and the government can take the ground at this time and address this issue during Covid-19. Also, there is a need for funding and investment in this area to acknowledge the necessity for breast milk.
The ongoing restrictions also highlighted the fragility in the breastfeeding support systems that collapsed during the coronavirus pandemic. Also, Covid-19 highlighted the importance of breast milk as it can contribute to biomedical research.
The antibodies present in breast milk were the center of attention for the scientific community over the past year. Scientists also suggested that the components of breast milk can help revolutionize therapies for various diseases and provide new insight into coronavirus treatment.
During this time of crisis, the government needs to support lactation services. Also, the breastfeeding providers need support to prevent a nutrition pandemic among the children. Several children relied on the formula milk during Covid-19 which is not anywhere as beneficial as the breast milk from the mother.