“Mothers with suspected or proven COVID-19 and their infants should not be completely separated. Mothers and infants should be allowed to remain together, after potential risks and benefits of rooming-in have been discussed and allowing for shared decision-making with families and their health care providers.”
“Mothers can practice skin-to-skin care and breastfeed while in hospital with some modifications to usual processes.”
“Currently, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) recommend that mothers with suspected or proven COVID-19 continue to breastfeed. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that mothers and their health care providers discuss the benefits and risks of breastfeeding, given the uncertainty around transmission of SARS-CoV-2, and come to a shared decision.”
“The current evidence available to inform decision-making is limited. A 2003 study describes the experience of 12 women with SARS and the outcomes of their newborns. None of the infants who were breastfed went on to develop SARS. Similarly, a recent small-sample-size study that tested breast milk directly found no positive tests for SARS-CoV-2, suggesting that the virus does not pass into breast milk. Importantly, maternal antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 are likely passed to the newborn and offer a protective benefit, as was documented for SARS.”
“At this point, the primary concern is that the virus will be transmitted from mother to infant through respiratory droplets during breastfeeding. Women who choose to breastfeed should wear a mask (if available), wash their hands, and clean their breast area with soap and water before each feeding. Mothers may also choose to pump—ensuring that they wash their hands, and clean all equipment–and then feed their infant expressed breastmilk. At home, frequently touched household surfaces should also be disinfected regularly. Symptomatic individuals should not be allowed to visit with mother and baby.”
Find the full practice point here.
(dated 6 April 20; accessed 10 April 20)