A new study provides more reassurance that mothers with corona can safely breastfeed their babies.
And the study of 55 infants born to mothers with “Covid-19” found that none of them had contracted the virus, although most of them started getting breast milk in hospital.
The researchers said the findings support current advice from public health authorities. Last year, the World Health Organization said that mothers with suspected or confirmed “Covid-19” could continue breastfeeding.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that breast milk is “not a potential source” for the transmission of Corona, and that infected mothers can breastfeed as long as they take some precautions.
“If you wash your hands and wear a mask, there is no reason why you should not breastfeed,” said Dr. Marcel Uteipping, associate professor at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, in an editorial published with the new study on April 13 in the journal Pediatrics.
Utiping said that while recommendations on breastfeeding were already in place, it was important for studies to continue to track whether or not breast milk-related infections in infants occur. He continued: “But it is unlikely that the infection will be transmitted through breast milk.”
For the study, the researchers followed 55 infants born at the Israeli Medical Center to mothers who had tested positive for the Coronavirus. All newborns were tested negative for infection soon after birth.
Three-quarters of the babies were given breast milk during their stay in the hospital, and about 85% of them were breastfed after returning home.
None of them were infected with the Coronavirus, based on the examination tests that were taken two to three weeks after leaving the hospital.
In general, the World Health Organization recommends skin-to-skin contact and breastfeeding shortly after the baby is born, and this also applies to mothers with “Covid-19”.
Utiping raised another question: Can breast milk supply these babies with antibodies to the virus? He explained that such antibodies have been detected in breast milk in infected women, but it is not clear whether they help protect children. He added, “For this reason, we need more research.”
Shlomay said that what seems increasingly clear is that the risk of children contracting “Covid-19” through breastfeeding is “very low”.
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