Significance of breastfeeding, incentive factors, challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic

Jūratė Pakrosnytė1, Agnė Skvarnavičiūtė1

1Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Medical Academy, Faculty of Medicine 


Introduction: Every year more and more focus is being directed towards lowering the need of additional feeding for newborns in order to ensure better development for the babies. To improve the results in this area, the risk factors for needing additional feeding need to be determined.

Aim: to find out the benefits of breastfeeding, incentive factors and challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Methodology: The literature was conducted using the ”PubMed” database. The literature research was conducted using predetermined keywords. More than 30 publications were analyzed on the subject of breastfeeding.

Results: Mother’s milk given to a baby after birth improves the newborn’s digestive tract development, improves nutrient absorption, the development of eyesight and cognitive functions and lowers the risk of infections. Mother’s milk also contains 20 times more oligosaccharides than cow’s milk, they are necessary for the growth of a healthy microbiome in the large intestine. Normal microbiome growth fills up a large portion of the intestines and therefore prevents the growth of pathogenic microorganisms.

Conclusions: 1. Newborn’s breastfeeding is the optimal choice of nutrition, providing the newborn with sufficient calories and nutrients. 2. The baby-friendly hospital initiative seeks to protect, promote, and implement breastfeeding practices in health care facilities. 3. Knowledge, beliefs, the impact of information, experience, views of family and friends, support, social status, environment, motivation and interest in breastfeeding are the main factors encouraging mothers to breastfeed. 4. Breastfeeding is safe and encouraged during COVID-19 infection.

Keywords: Breastfeeding, Baby-Friendly Hospital.