Can I infect my baby as a pregnant woman or breastfeeding mother when I contract COVID-19?

Questions about the novel coronavirus which has ravaged the world continue to prick the minds of many.

Among others, this explainer will provide answers to whether a pregnant woman who contracts COVID-19 can infect the child or whether an infant can be infected through breastfeeding.

In this explainer, Fact-Check Ghana explains these issues with views from top infectious disease experts.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has said in a study that about only 2% to 5% of babies born to mothers with COVID-19 tested positive for within the first four days of life.

It said with proper safety techniques such as keeping babies in enclosed cribs six feet apart from their mothers, moms are unlikely to transfer the virus to their newborns,

The study, which was published in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health said there were no cases of viral transmission among 120 babies born to 116 Covid-positive mothers, even when both shared a room and the mothers breastfed.

Scientists say despite these findings, COVID-positive mothers could spread the virus to their infants through tiny droplets that spread when they talk, cough, or sneeze.

According to health experts, the reason infants are protected is that breast milk is nutrition for babies and can protect against many illnesses.

Aside from that, Experts say people are often encouraged to continue breastfeeding or providing breast milk even when they are sick with a virus such as flu.

This report is produced under the project: COVID-19 Response in Africa: Together for Reliable Information being implemented with funding support from the European Union.

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