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VOLUME 1 , ISSUE 1 ( January-March, 2022 ) > List of Articles


Assisted Birthing and Breastfeeding in Humans: Evolutionary Advantage or Threat during COVID-19 Pandemic

Keywords : Breastfeeding, COVID-19, Evolution, Midwifery, Salutogenesis

Citation Information : Assisted Birthing and Breastfeeding in Humans: Evolutionary Advantage or Threat during COVID-19 Pandemic. 2022; 1 (1):28-36.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-11005-0015

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 06-05-2022

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2022; The Author(s).


The review aims to discuss why assisted birth, breastfeeding, and non-separation of the mother and newborn baby are important from the evolutionary and salutogenic points of view. Even though after successful delivery, the mother is ready to continue caring for her offspring by closeness and warmth (skin-to-skin contact), with decreasing offspring's level of stress and compensating energy expenditure of the fetus during delivery by early breastfeeding of the neonate after birth, which has a long-lasting evolution of 200 to 300 million of years. During COVID-19 pandemic these natural principles of care for human offspring have been considered potentially dangerous. This non-respectful approach toward the natural processes has resulted in guidelines and recommendations advocating for the separation of the SARS-CoV-2 positive mother from her newborn infant and sometimes even abandoning breastfeeding. In the care for mothers and their children during the COVID-19 pandemic, it seems very important to find ways how to maintain health and well-being, having on mind concepts of salutogenesis and resilience. This approach includes the provision of care minimizing medicalization and iatrogenic intervention, with the promotion and enhancement of a positive state of health. With increasing knowledge on COVID-19 infection and SARS-CoV-2 virus in the perinatal period, most of the organizations have been advocating for the protection, promotion, and support to early initiation of breastfeeding and non-separation of SARS-CoV-2 positive mothers well enough to breastfeed if willing to do so. This complies with the long-lasting evolution of assistance during labor (midwifery) and breastfeeding, and the ethical principle “do no harm.”

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