Newborns Will not Get COVID By Contaminated Mother’s Breast Milk

By Amy Norton

HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, April 13, 2021 (HealthDay News) — A brand new examine affords extra reassurance that moms contaminated with SARS-CoV-2 can safely breastfeed their infants.

The examine of 55 infants born to mothers with COVID-19 discovered that none contracted the virus — despite the fact that most began getting breast milk within the hospital.

Researchers stated the findings assist current recommendation from public well being authorities. Final 12 months, the World Well being Group (WHO) stated that mothers with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 can proceed breastfeeding.

The U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention has stated that breast milk is “not a likely source” of SARS-CoV-2 transmission, and that contaminated mothers can breastfeed so long as they take some precautions.

“When you wash your palms and put on a masks, there is no motive you may’t breastfeed,” stated Dr. Marcel Yotebieng, an affiliate professor at Albert Einstein School of Medication in New York Metropolis.

Yotebieng cowrote an editorial printed with the brand new examine April 13 within the journal Pediatrics.

He stated that whereas breastfeeding suggestions exist already, it is vital for research to maintain monitoring whether or not toddler infections associated to breast milk do happen.

These newest findings don’t rule out that chance, stated lead researcher Dr. Noa Ofek Shlomai, who heads the neonatal unit at Hadassah and Hebrew College Medical Middle in Jerusalem.

“But transmission by breast milk is most probably unlikely,” Shlomai stated.

For the examine, researchers adopted 55 infants born on the Israeli medical middle to moms who examined constructive for SARS-CoV-2. All the newborns examined unfavourable for the an infection quickly after supply.

Three-quarters of the infants got breast milk throughout their hospital keep, and much more — 85% — have been breastfed after going residence. None turned contaminated with the coronavirus, primarily based on screening exams executed two to a few weeks after leaving the hospital.

Earlier within the pandemic, the Jerusalem hospital had a coverage of separating newborns from their SARS-CoV-2-positive mothers. Due to that, infants on this examine got pumped breast milk by bottle.

However Shlomai stated that not appears crucial, so long as safeguards like mask-wearing and hand-washing are adopted.


That is additionally in keeping with current suggestions, Yotebieng famous. Basically, the WHO recommends skin-to-skin contact and breastfeeding quickly after an toddler is born — and that applies to mothers with COVID-19, too.

Yotebieng raised one other query: Is it doable that breast milk gives these infants with antibodies towards the virus? Such antibodies have been detected within the breast milk of contaminated ladies, Yotebieng stated, but it surely’s unclear whether or not they assist shield infants.

“That’s why we need more research,” he added.

What does appear more and more clear, Shlomai stated, is that the danger of infants contracting COVID-19 by way of breastfeeding is “very low.”

And any danger must be weighed towards the “huge” advantages of breastfeeding, based on Yotebieng.

For one, it is believed to assist infants’ immune system growth. Breastfed infants are much less prone to develop ear infections, diarrhea, bronchial asthma and extreme lung infections, based on the CDC.

“We should remember there are infections other than SARS-CoV-2, too,” Yotebieng stated.

Extra data

The World Well being Group has extra on COVID-19 and breastfeeding.

SOURCES: Noa Ofek Shlomai, MD, head, neonatal unit, Hadassah and Hebrew College Medical Middle, Jerusalem, Israel; Marcel Yotebieng, MD, PhD, MPH, affiliate professor, Division of Basic Inside Medication, Albert Einstein School of Medication, New York Metropolis; Pediatrics, April 13, 2021, on-line

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