Misalignment of global COVID-19 breastfeeding and newborn care guidelines with World Health Organization recommendations
Guidance documents from 33 countries on the care of infants whose mothers were suspected or confirmed as having COVID-19 were assessed for alignment with WHO recommendations regarding: (1) skin-to-skin contact; (2) early initiation of breastfeeding; (3); rooming-in; (4) direct breastfeeding; (5) provision of expressed breastmilk; (6) provision of donor human milk; (7) wet nursing; (8) provision of breastmilk substitutes; (9) psychological support for separated mothers; and (10) psychological support for separated infants.
Considerable inconsistency in recommendations were found. Recommendations against practices supportive of breastfeeding were common, even in countries with high infant mortality rates. None of the guidance documents reviewed recommended all aspects of WHO guidance. The presence of influential guidance conflicting with WHO recommendations and an undervaluing of the importance of maternal proximity and breastfeeding to infant health appeared to contribute to this poor alignment.

Related link: • COVID-19: Ensuring safe breastfeeding and newborn care
Organization: Duong Vu Hoang: Alive & Thrive Southeast Asia, FHI 360; Jennifer Cashin: Alive & Thrive Southeast Asia, FHI 360; Karleen Gribble: Western Sydney University School of Nursing and Midwifery; Kathleen Marinelli: Pediatrics, University of Connecticut School of Medicine; Roger Mathisen: Alive & Thrive Southeast Asia, FHI 360
Year: 2020
Language: English
Web link: https://nutrition.bmj.com/content/3/2/339