CORONAVIRUS DISEASE (COVID-19) PANDEMIC
Here are current recommendations for breastfeeding mothers who have, or who are being tested for, COVID-19. This guidance has been sourced directly from world-leading health organisations and experts. It will be updated as new information becomes available.
Q&A: Breastfeeding and COVID-19
The WHO updates the information regularly. Please use the links below to go directly to the websites.
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."
Breastfeeding if you have COVID-19
"Breast milk provides protection against many illnesses and is the best source of nutrition for most infants. Learn more about breastfeeding.
You, along with your family and healthcare providers, should decide whether and how to start or continue breastfeeding.
We do not know for sure if mothers with COVID-19 can spread the virus to babies in their breast milk, but the limited data available suggest this is not likely.
If you have COVID-19 and choose to breastfeed:
• Wear a cloth face covering while breastfeeding and wash your hands before each feeding.
If you have COVID-19 and choose to express breast milk:
• Use a dedicated breast pump (not shared).
• Wear a cloth face covering during expression and wash your hands before touching any pump or bottle parts and before expressing breast milk.
• Follow recommendations for proper pump cleaning after each use, cleaning all parts that come into contact with breast milk.
• If possible, expressed breast milk should be fed to the infant by a healthy caregiver who does not have COVID-19, is not at high-risk for severe illness from COVID-19, and is living in the same home."
Live Q&A session on COVID-19 with breastmilk lactation experts
Lars Bode, PhD; Professor and Principal Investigator at University of California, San Diego (UC San Diego); Director of the Larsson-Rosenquist Foundation Mother-Milk-Infant Center of Research Excellence (LRF MOMI CORE), UC San Diego
Shelley McGuire, PhD; Director and Professor, Margaret Ritchie School of Family and Consumer Sciences, University of Idaho
Paula Meier, PhD, RN; Director of Lactation Services, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and Professor of Pediatrics and Nursing at Rush University Medical Center, Chicago
ISRHML activities and guidance related to COVID-19
"The purpose of this summary, generated by a Working Group of ISRHML members, is to collate the rapidly evolving scientific evidence and clinical resources regarding the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), human milk and lactation. It is not intended to replace public health authority recommendations. Information on the COVID-19 pandemic is changing quickly. This document will be updated regularly to reflect new developments."
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."
Current breastfeeding and COVID-19 guidance for health professionals
LactaMap – the online lactation care support system - is now offering information based on what is currently known about COVID-19. Please note: additional care options for breastfeeding when mother or infant have tested positive for COVID-19 are based on limited evidence or expert opinion only.
LactaMap content has been developed by The University of Western Australia to help health professionals provide lactation support for mothers and term infants from birth to 2 years of age.
LactaMap is free, please register at: www.LactaMap.com
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 pop-up space for 2019 Novel Coronavirus supports evidence generation by pooling protocols, tools, guidance, templates, and research standards generated by researchers and networks working on the response to this outbreak. Findings from previous outbreaks, largely obtained during MERS and SARS, are also available. This all aims to make research faster and easier and to enable standardised, quality data to be collected and prepared for sharing.