CORONAVIRUS DISEASE (COVID-19) PANDEMIC
Here are current recommendations for breastfeeding mothers. This guidance has been sourced directly from world-leading health organisations and will be updated in regular intervals.
The Johns Hopkins Center for Humanitarian Health compiled and regularly updates a repository that provides an overview of what peer-reviewed journal articles currently state on COVID-19, breastfeeding, infant feeding, and breast milk. You can find the COVID-19 repository of peer-reviewed journal articles here.
Furthermore, the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University developed a COVID-19 dashboard that you can find here.
Interim recommendations for use of the Pfizer–BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, BNT162b2, under Emergency Use Listing, from 8 January 2021
"Breastfeeding offers substantial health benefits to lactating women and their breastfed children. Vaccine efficacy is expected to be similar in lactating women as in other adults. However, there are no data on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines in lactating women or on the effects of mRNA vaccines on breastfed children. As the BNT162b2 vaccine is not a live virus vaccine and the mRNA does not enter the nucleus of the cell and is degraded quickly, it is biologically and clinically unlikely to pose a risk to the breastfeeding child. On the basis of these considerations, a lactating woman who is part of a group recommended for vaccination, e.g. health workers, should be offered vaccination on an equivalent basis. WHO does not recommend discontinuing breastfeeding after vaccination."
Breastfeeding and COVID-19
The WHO updates the information regularly. Please use the links below to go directly to the websites.
Breastfeeding advice during the COVID-19 outbreak
Q&A: Breastfeeding and COVID-19
Frequently Asked Questions: Breastfeeding and COVID-19 for health care workers (PDF)
Scientific brief: Breastfeeding and COVID-19
COVID-19 vaccination considerations for people who are breastfeeding
"There are no data on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines in lactating women or on the effects of mRNA vaccines on the breastfed infant or on milk production/excretion. mRNA vaccines are not thought to be a risk to the breastfeeding infant. People who are breastfeeding and are part of a group recommended to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, such as healthcare personnel, may choose to be vaccinated."
COVID-19 and breastfeeding
"Current evidence suggests that breast milk isn’t likely to spread the virus to babies. You, along with your family and healthcare providers, should decide whether and how to start or continue breastfeeding. Breast milk provides protection against many illnesses and is the best source of nutrition for most babies. We don’t know for sure if mothers with COVID-19 can spread the virus to babies in breast milk, but the current evidence suggests that this isn’t likely."
Breastfeeding safely during the COVID-19 pandemic.
How to nourish your child following the current expert guidance.
"Evidence is overwhelmingly in support of breastfeeding. Skin-to-skin contact and early, exclusive breastfeeding helps your baby to thrive, and there is no reason to discontinue in the wake of this virus. To date, the transmission of active COVID-19 (virus that can cause infection) through breastmilk and breastfeeding has not been detected.
If you are about to have a baby, you should be supported to breastfeed safely, hold your newborn skin-to-skin, and share a room with your baby.
Here are some answers to common questions from new and expecting mothers to help provide the safest experience for you and your baby, whether you’re feeling healthy or experiencing signs and symptoms of COVID."
EMBA Task Force: COVID-19 in the perinatal period
"The Task Force will take into account the suggestions, directions, recommendations, and guidelines published in literature from national and international societies, international organizations and institutions, panel of experts, on COVID-19 pandemia in the perinatal period.
This information will be evaluated and included as summary in the EMBA website."
Is it Safe to Provide Milk for My NICU Baby if I Have or Have Been Exposed to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)?
"With so much news in the media about COVID-19, it is natural to be concerned about whether providing milk for your NICU baby is safe or even advisable."
The Global Health Network is an open source platform that provides trusted knowledge, guidance, tools and resources to support the generation of more and better health research data. During emerging outbreaks it is vital to learn as much as possible to generate evidence on best practice for prevention, diagnosis and treatment and to facilitate effective preparedness and response for future outbreaks.
The knowledge hub for 2019 Novel Coronavirus supports evidence generation. The aim is to ensure that research teams can find the support, tools, resources and guidance that they need to aid their studies during this rapidly evolving situation. Using shared and open protocols and tools can raise research standards and enable easier and better data sharing.