COVID-19

The following information about Covid-19 and breastfeeding has been compiled from reliable sources to help guide families and individuals providing lactation support.  Though we will do our best to keep this information updated as the situation evolves, please note it may not always reflect the latest guidelines. 

Last updated April 11 2020 

9:00 am EST

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INFORMATION FOR PARENTS

RESEARCH INFORMATION

INFORMATION FOR HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS

 

INFORMATION FOR PARENTS

COVID Mothers Study
Access the survey HERE

 

Government of Quebec

Access website HERE for up-to-date information

“In studies of pregnant women infected with the virus responsible for COVID‑19 around the world, none of the babies were infected during pregnancy. The virus responsible for COVID‑19 was not detected in the amniotic fluid, placenta or breast milk of the infected pregnant women. No cases of congenital abnormalities caused by the virus responsible for COVID‑19 were observed.”

 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) et allaitement : Outil d'information pour les parents en contexte de pandémie

Publications du ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux

Access full document HERE (available in French only)

« Les mères peuvent allaiter pendant la pandémie.

Le virus de la COVID-19 n’est pas transmis par le lait maternel. Nous ne savons pas encore si le lait contient des anticorps contre ce virus. Toutefois, il est reconnu que le lait maternel contient de nombreux facteurs immunitaires pour combattre les infections. En période de pandémie, il est recommandé d’allaiter.

La mère atteinte de la COVID-19 peut allaiter même si elle a des symptômes.

Au besoin, le lait maternel exprimé peut être donné au bébé. Il est important de se laver les mains avant d’allaiter ou d’exprimer son lait. »

 

Canadian Paediatric Society

Breastfeeding when mothers have suspected or proven COVID-19

Access website HERE

 

Government of Canada - Public Health Agency

Access website HERE for up-to-date information

“For breastfeeding mothers: considering the benefits of breastfeeding and the insignificant role of breast milk in transmission of other respiratory viruses, breastfeeding can continue. If the breastfeeding mother is a case, she should wear a surgical/procedure mask when near the baby, practice respiratory etiquette, and perform hand hygiene before and after close contact with the baby.”

 

SafelyFed Canada has developed a comprehensive evidence-based document that includes specific guidance for Canadians on COVID-19 and breastfeeding.  The latest version can be accessed HERE.

Informational posters are also available on their Facebook page HERE.

 

World Health Organization (WHO)

Clinical management of severe acute respiratory infection when COVID-19 is suspected

Access document HERE

Q&A on COVID-19 and breastfeeding

Access document HERE

 

UNICEF

Access website HERE for up-to-date information

Is it safe for a mother to breastfeed if she is infected with coronavirus?

“All mothers in affected and at-risk areas who have symptoms of fever, cough or difficulty breathing, should seek medical care early, and follow instructions from a health care provider. Considering the benefits of breastfeeding and the insignificant role of breastmilk in the transmission of other respiratory viruses, the mother can continue breastfeeding, while applying all the necessary precautions.  For symptomatic mothers well enough to breastfeed, this includes wearing a mask when near a child (including during feeding), washing hands before and after contact with the child (including feeding), and cleaning/disinfecting contaminated surfaces – as should be done in all cases where anyone with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 interacts with others, including children.  If a mother is too ill, she should be encouraged to express milk and give it to the child via a clean cup and/or spoon – all while following the same infection prevention methods.”

 

RESEARCH INFORMATION

Clinical characteristics and intrauterine vertical transmission potential of COVID-19 infection in nine pregnant women: a retrospective review of medical records - Click HERE for access to the full article.

Summary: “The clinical characteristics of COVID-19 pneumonia in pregnant women were similar to those reported for non-pregnant adult patients who developed COVID-19 pneumonia. Findings from this small group of cases suggest that there is currently no evidence for intrauterine infection caused by vertical transmission in women who develop COVID-19 pneumonia in late pregnancy.”

 

INFORMATION FOR HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS

Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux

COVID-19 - Directives au réseau de la santé et des services sociaux

Access website HERE (available in French only)

 

Government of Quebec

Access guidance document HERE

 

International Lactation Consultants Association (ILCA)

Resources for skilled lactation providers on COVID-19

Access resource document HERE

 

World Health Organization (WHO)

Access document HERE