Breast Milk is Not Source of Infection, Study Suggests

Nov, 2021 - By SMI

Breast Milk is Not Source of Infection, Study Suggests

In mothers, breastfeeding is linked to a lower risk for ovarian and breast cancer, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.

As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to wreak havoc worldwide, so do the concerns of breastfeeding mothers. However there are no documented cases of an infant contracting the virus as a result of breast milk, there remains a significant question as to whether there is a possibility of transmission in this form. In a recent study, the research team from UC San Diego School of Medicine and the University of California join forces to find the answer. The research was published in August 2020 in the JAMA journal.

During this research, the team inspected around 64 samples of breast milk collected from 18 women infected with the novel coronavirus across the United States. Recommendations to curb the spread of the virus while breastfeeding is wash hands before touching your baby, wear a cloth face covering (if possible) while feeding at the breast, wash hands before touching pump or bottle parts, and clean all parts after each use. Breastfeeding is linked to a lower risk of sudden infant death syndrome (sudden death of a baby younger than 1-year-old) and obesity in children.

In mothers, breastfeeding is linked to a lower risk for ovarian and breast cancer, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. According to co-principal investigator Christina Chambers, in order to be contagious it has to increase and multiply and the team has not found this in any samples of breast milk. The research suggests that breast milk is not a source of infection. Moreover, the researchers added SARS-CoV-2 (coronavirus) to breast milk samples collected from healthy donors and heated them for 30 minutes to 62.5° C and then cooled to 4° C. The infectious virus was not detected in any sample.

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