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Covid-19 Primary Care Resources


The risks and benefits of feeding choices for women who may be infected with Covid-19

This information is sourced from the RCOG:

  • Breastfeeding is recommended for all women and newborn infants
  • Covid-19 is not a contraindication to breastfeeding
  • In 24 cases reported in a systematic review, breastmilk tested negative for Covid-19; however, given the small number, this should be interpreted with caution
  • The main risk of breastfeeding is the close contact between the baby and the woman, who is likely to share infective respiratory droplets
  • The benefits of breastfeeding outweigh any potential risks of transmission of the virus through breastmilk
  • The risks and benefits of feeding choices, including the risk of holding the baby in close proximity where women may be infected, should be discussed with the parent

The following precautions should be taken to limit viral spread to the baby:

  • Considering asking someone who is well to feed the baby
  • Wash hands before touching the baby, breast pump or bottles
  • Avoid coughing or sneezing on the baby
  • Consider wearing a face covering or fluid-resistant face mask while feeding or caring for the baby
  • Follow recommendations for cleaning after each use of a breast pump
  • For babies who are bottle fed with formula or expressed milk, strict adherence to sterilisation guidelines is recommended

Information for pregnant women including breastfeeding advice is available on the RCOG Website

See Also:

Covid vaccinations: Conception, Pregnancy and Breastfeeding


Published: 19/02/2021