The Coronavirus crisis is throwing up enormous problems for so many people and its hard to see where, when or how this nightmare will end.
You can help by contacting your MP to make sure the following safeguards are in place throughout the UK:
Minimise disruption and ensure the protection and support of breastfeeding and skin to skin contact ‘whether they [mothers] or their infants have suspected, probable, or confirmed COVID-19′.
UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative: “There is a wealth of evidence that breastfeeding reduces the risk of babies developing infectious diseases. There are numerous live constituents in human milk, including immunoglobulins, antiviral factors, cytokines and leucocytes, that help to destroy harmful pathogens and boost the baby’s immune system. Considering the protection that human milk and breastfeeding offers the baby and the minimal role it plays in the transmission of other respiratory viruses, it seems sensible to do all we can to continue to promote, protect and support breastfeeding”. In case of risk of transmission from an infected mother to her infant through direct contact and respiratory droplets, as well as contact with contaminated surfaces, infected mothers well enough to breastfeed can continue to do so, while practicing appropriate infection prevention and control measures. We will be posting information from WHO, UNICEF and others here.
- Bring in limits for sales of infant formula to ensure all families can easily access this as needed and to protect families eligible for Healthy Start vouchers. We have had reports that vulnerable families are unable to use their Healthy Start vouchers to purchase infant formula because people are stockpiling. Families who use Healthy Start vouchers cannot ‘stock up’ and may face difficulties that make shopping around difficult. Dr Helen Crawley of First Steps Nutrition Trust was told by the British Retail Consortium that major retailers will all now limit purchases of infant milks to 2-4 per customer. Please monitor and ask your MP to ensure this happens consistently.
- Children in families in working poverty rely on schools for breakfasts and lunches. If and when schools close, children will be especially vulnerable. Ask your MP to work with the government, schools, food banks and local authorities to ensure that enough food is available for all those who need it.
Use this link to find your MP: https://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/mps/find-your-mp/
Matt Hancock, Secretary of State at the Department of Health and Social Care,
Jo Churchill, Minister for Public Health, Primary Care & Prevention
39 Victoria Street, London SW1H 0EU
Link: https://contactus.dhsc.gov.uk. Phone: 0207 210 4850
See the Unicef BFI statement: