In these dark times of the coronavirus, the story of a doctor turned “new mom” will leave you feeling inspired to the core. At a time when we are all scared of the coronavirus, this new mom faced it head on and safeguarded her newborn son from it too.
A pediatrician from Hyderabad named Soni (name changed) had recently given birth to her five months old son. On 28 June Soni unexpectedly started feeling more exhausted than usual. And in no time, she developed a high-grade fever. After two days of fever not responding to medication, Soni noticed that her sense of smell had disappeared too. As a doctor, she knew what these symptoms entailed and hence, got herself tested for the coronavirus. In the meanwhile, her little bundle of joy had started experiencing symptoms of a cold too.
Soni got herself diagnosed on 1 July and much to her dismay the results came out to be positive. The results suddenly changed everything for her. Although she showed mild symptoms and was home quarantined, she was worried sick about her family, especially her son. Being a new mom is scary for any woman and to be diagnosed with the coronavirus at this time scared Soni more than anything. But she had faith in God, and she knew that with the love and support of her family, she and her baby would come out of this situation stronger.
Her family encouraged her to continue breastfeeding her son. Being a pediatrician, she knew even in these difficult times; her breastmilk which is rife with antibodies, will be the best protection for her son. So, Soni fed her baby with all the precautions recommended by the WHO and CDC. She wore nitrile gloves, a face shield and an N-95 mask to shield her son from the aerosols. Soni’s lactation consultant, Dr. Vinodha Unnam at Apollo Cradle Hospital, Jubilee Hills reassured her of the usefulness of breastfeeding during the coronavirus. She even taught Soni some breathing exercises and served as an emotional support as well.
After three days, Soni started feeling better as her fever came down, but new symptoms of a cold and malaise emerged. She knew her battle against the coronavirus was still on. So, she practiced breathing exercises and pranayama, steam inhalation, gargling with warm water, and eating a well-balanced diet. And of course, her main therapy was her baby’s cute little smile which gave her the strength to carry on.
On July 18 she won the battle against the coronavirus and tested negative. Her entire family was filled with joy. But here’s the takeaway message from this inspirational story guys. We all need to encourage new moms to continue breastfeeding even at the time of illness by adhering to all the safety precautions. We need to support young moms who have tested positive for the coronavirus and reassure them that they’re not alone. Together as a family, we can all win this battle. And of course, to all the new moms who are breastfeeding their child, you are doing a fantastic job by providing your baby with the natural antibodies against the virus through the breastmilk. We are all proud of you! Let’s beat the coronavirus together!