COVID-19, Breastfeeding, Infant Feeding, and Breast Milk

What Does the Science Tell Us?

This repository is compiled by the Johns Hopkins Center for Humanitarian Health and provides an overview of what peer-reviewed journal articles currently state on COVID-19, breastfeeding, infant feeding, and breast milk. As the pandemic is ongoing, more and more research results are published. With this service, we aim to provide the user with a snapshot of what is published with updates every two weeks. We hope that you will learn and benefit from the articles presented here. 





 

UPDATE 13 January 2021: Since our last update Wednesday 30 December 2020, we have added 19 NEW publications for January (8 new) December (6 new), November (4 new), and April (1 new).

All publications provide emerging evidence related to COVID-19 and

  • Breastfeeding and breast milk (including viral transmission issues)
  • Infant feeding recommendations
  • Feeding difficulties in newborns

While there were several recent reviews of international literature, this update also adds emerging evidence from the United Kingdom, the United States, Singapore, France, and Iran.

While one article discusses revised guidance issued 30 December 2020 that allows pregnant and breastfeeding women in the UK to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, another questions the rationale for excluding breastfeeding women in the first place.

One article discusses the role of community-based doulas in reducing COVID-19-related health inequities gives evidence that Black mothers enrolled in community‐based doula programs are more likely to be exclusively breastfeeding at 6-week, 3-month, and 6-month follow-ups. The authors highlight steps for increasing access to doula care during the COVID-19 pandemic in light of hospital visitor restrictions and barriers to in-home care. A cross-sectional phenomenological study explored perceptions of social support among breastfeeding mothers during the COVID-19 pandemic, citing reduced in-person support, concerns for returning to work, lack of childcare, and reliance on tele-support for their information needs as significant barriers. Another recent publication proposes a structure to guide shared decision-making with parents regarding their infant feeding choices. 

One study published in the last week evaluated the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on Human Milk Bank services across 36 countries and offers operational guidance. Another recent publication outlines best practices and ethical considerations for the collection and storage of human milk samples for COVID-19 research, including factors that can impact milk composition with regard to viral DNA/RNA, antibodies, immune cells, cytokines, and other soluble factors.

The next update for this specific repository will be on Wednesday 27 January 2021 (in two weeks).

To subscribe to receive updates on this repository (updated every two weeks) or our general repository on COVID-19, Maternal and Child Health, Nutrition (updated weekly), please contact Mija Ververs at mververs@jhu.edu or mververs@cdc.gov.


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