Breastfeeding Mothers Infected With Coronavirus Unlikely To Infect Their Babies Via Breastmilk

By 12:00 Sat, 25 Jul 2020 Comments

Mothers with Covid-19 are unlikely to pass the virus to their newborns if simple infection control measures are in place, a small study suggests.(Wapbaze_Copyright)

Researchers reported no cases of the disease in 120 babies born to infected mothers, even when both shared a room and the child was breastfed.(Wapbaze_Copyright)

Mothers were required to wear surgical masks when handling their child and follow stringent hand and breast washing procedures.(Wapbaze_Copyright)

Babies were also kept in enclosed cots six feet (1.8metres) away from their parent at all times except when breastfeeding.(Wapbaze_Copyright)

The researchers behind the study say they hope it will reassure pregnant women that the risk of them passing Covid-19 to their child is low.(Wapbaze_Copyright)

Mothers in the UK have been recommended to continue to breastfeed their newborns throughout the crisis.(Wapbaze_Copyright)

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists said the benefits of breastfeeding significantly 'outweigh any potential risks of transmission'.(Wapbaze_Copyright)

The latest study, published in The Lancet Child and Adolescent Health journal, looked at 120 babies born to 116 Covid-19-positive women between March 22 and May 17.(Wapbaze_Copyright)

All babies were tested for the virus via a nasal swab within 24 hours after birth and none tested positive.(Wapbaze_Copyright)

Some of the mothers recovered from the coronavirus and were allowed home during the study, so only 79 babies were then tested again a week after birth.(Wapbaze_Copyright)

Some babies born to coronavirus-infected mothers already have antibodies against the viral disease, one of the UK's top doctors revealed last month.(Wapbaze_Copyright)

Dr Patrick O'Brien, vice president of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said a 'very small' number of newborns seemed to have developed an immune response against the virus while still inside the womb.(Wapbaze_Copyright)

They noted that, at the time of the study, blood, fecal and urine Covid-19 tests had not been approved.(Wapbaze_Copyright)

This means some of the children might have been infected inside their mothers' wombs and cleared the disease by the time they were born.(Wapbaze_Copyright)

The researchers also relied on what the mothers reported themselves about their hand hygiene and mask usage.(Wapbaze_Copyright)

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists said that separating mothers and babies at birth was more detrimental than the risk of Covid for infants.(Wapbaze_Copyright)

Just a handful of children have caught the coronavirus in Britain, and experts believe infants' risk of contracting the virus is 'unbelievably low'.(Wapbaze_Copyright)

Doctors say infected children are far more likely to have no symptoms than they are to develop a severe case of COVID-19.

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