Breast milk (ASI) is known as one of the main food choices for babies. However, there are several diseases that can be transmitted through breast milk. Come on, identify any diseases that can be transmitted through breast milk, so that Busui (breastfeeding mothers) can prevent transmission to the Little One.
Breastfeeding until the child is 2 years old can provide many health benefits. Besides having complete nutritional content, breast milk is also more practical and can strengthen the bond between mother and child.
Diseases that can be transmitted through breast milk
Breast milk is produced by the mother's body, so some diseases experienced by breastfeeding mothers can also be transmitted through breast milk. In addition, the breastfeeding process that involves close and direct contact between the mother and baby can also facilitate the transmission of disease to the baby.
Diseases that can be transmitted while breastfeeding include:
1. Tuberculosis (TB)
Breast milk does not transmit tuberculosis (TB), but this disease is very easily transmitted through fluids from the respiratory tract (droplets) which spreads when an infected person sneezes or coughs.
Therefore, breastfeeding mothers who suffer from active tuberculosis (still contagious) are advised not to breastfeed directly and continue to wear masks when close to their babies. If a breastfeeding mother has active TB, her baby needs to get expressed breast milk.
Breastfeeding mothers who suffer from tuberculosis are only allowed to breastfeed directly, if they have undergone tuberculosis treatment for at least 2 weeks and their condition has been declared non-infectious or has no potential to infect again.
2. Hepatitis (A, B, C, E)
Transmission of hepatitis A and E during breastfeeding is considered very rare, so Busui does not need to worry too much. Breastfeeding mothers who suffer from hepatitis B and C can still breastfeed their babies.
However, hepatitis B and C can be transmitted through blood. If a nursing mother who is suffering from hepatitis B or C has sores on her breasts, breastfeeding should be stopped for a while until the wounds heal.
In addition, infants born to mothers infected with hepatitis B must receive a complete hepatitis B vaccination for 1 year.
3. Herpes simplex
When a nursing mother has herpes simplex, direct breastfeeding can still be done as long as there is no herpes rash on the breast. However, if there is a rash, then the breastfeeding process should be temporarily stopped, either directly or through expressed breast milk.
This is because babies who come into contact with the rash or consume breast milk from the affected breast have a high risk of contracting this infection.
Breastfeeding mothers who experience chickenpox 5 days before giving birth or 2 days after are advised to avoid direct contact with the baby. This infectious phase will last 2 days before the appearance of the rash until the rash is completely dry.
Although direct contact is not allowed to avoid transmission, expressed breast milk is still allowed. After the smallpox rash dries up, Busui may return to breastfeeding the little one.
5. Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
Each type of sexually transmitted infection has a different route of transmission, including through breast milk. Breastfeeding mothers who suffer from HIV are not recommended to breastfeed at all because transmission of the HIV virus can occur through breast milk.
In nursing mothers who suffer from trichomoniasis, it is recommended to do treatment first before breastfeeding the baby. Meanwhile, mothers who suffer from chlamydia, gonorrhea, and HPV infections are not prohibited from breastfeeding their children.
Other conditions that can delay breastfeeding for babies are breastfeeding mothers who use drugs, suffer from HTLV virus infection (human T-cell lumpotrophic virus) type I or II, or suspected Ebola virus infection.
Meanwhile, breastfeeding mothers who are suffering from DHF or mastitis, as well as nursing mothers who have or are currently suffering from breast cancer, are advised to consult a doctor before giving exclusive breastfeeding.
Although breast milk has benefits for both mother and baby, Busui still needs to pay attention to some of the conditions described above before giving breast milk to the little one. If Busui has certain health conditions, don't hesitate to consult a doctor so that breastfeeding remains safe.