5 Things to Know About COVID-19 and Breastfeeding

**Information about COVID-19 transmission is changing daily; these facts are based on current recommendations from the CDC, World Health Organization, and Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine.**

  1. Breast milk is still recommended as the best source of nutrition for infants, as it contains antibodies necessary to enhance an infant’s immune system. A mother shares her immune system with her baby through her breast milk.
  2. COVID-19 is thought to be spread primarily through droplets when a person sneezes or coughs, similar to the flu. As of now, the virus has not been detected in breast milk, and there is currently no concern for transmission through breastfeeding, or by bottle feeding expressed milk.
  3. If you have confirmed COVID-19, or are showing symptoms without confirmation, experts recommend that you continue breastfeeding. However, you may need to implement interventions to avoid spreading the virus to your baby. These can include washing your hands before touching your baby and wearing a face mask while breastfeeding. You may also express milk and have a healthy caregiver feed the baby.
  4. If you are within the immediate postpartum period with confirmed COVID-19 (or are symptomatic), specialists still recommend that you continue traditional rooming-in practices and breastfeeding, unless you require an elevated level of care and separation from your infant.
  5. There are no current recommendations to discontinue milk donation, milk sharing, or storing milk pumped at this time for later use. Continue to wash pump parts with antibacterial soap and warm/hot water.

Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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