Our recent coronavirus question has to do with the spread of the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2 and breastfeeding.

Question: Is it safe to breastfeed my baby if I have COVID-19, can the disease be transmitted through breast milk? 

The following is the response from lactation specialists Tammy Doherty RN, IBCLC and Jamie Williams RN, BSN IBCLC with USA Health's Children's & Women's Hospital. 

"If you have COVID-19 and choose to breastfeed, it is important to wear a face covering, wash your hands with soap and water before feeding. A mother may also consider pumping or expressing breast milk to be fed to her infant by a healthy caregiver."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has listed interim guidance for breastfeeding women on its website. If you are pregnant, or breastfeeding the CDC says whether and how to start or continue breastfeeding should be determined by the mother in coordination with her family and healthcare providers. 

"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 suggests this is not likely. We do know that breast milk provides protection against many illnesses. Mother should decide with their family and healthcare providers if they should start or continue breastfeeding."

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