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 27 January 2021: Since our last update Wednesday 13 January 2021, we have added 18 NEW publications for January (8 new) December (4 new), November (5 new), and September (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 Singapore, Romania, Russia, Turkey, the United States, Spain, India, Canada, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Two recent reviews discussed evidence of SARS-CoV-2 transmission via breastmilk, finding a lack of evidence to support this route of transmission. Regardless, the authors of one review report that breastfeeding guidance for mothers with COVID-19 has varied significantly by world region. Another article attributes conflicting hospital policies in the US related to COVID-19 and breastfeeding, reduced in-person lactation support, and accelerated discharge after delivery to widespread disruptions in breastfeeding during the COVID-19 pandemic. Another article reports increased feeding difficulties among neonates born to mothers with COVID-19. These authors, along with others in this update, express concern over the effect that limiting maternal breast milk may have on the neonatal microbiome.

One study evaluated a mobile, text-message based program designed to meet this need for postpartum education and support. The program was adapted to the pandemic context to include information related to COVID-19 and infant feeding and was found to reduce anxiety and increase parenting confidence among participants. Other articles emphasize the role of midwives and doulas in meeting women’s unmet needs for lactation support during the pandemic. Another study will examine the relationship between COVID-19-related life stressors and infant feeding practices on infant weight gain at 6 months and 2 years to evaluate potential association with childhood obesity risk.

The next update for this specific repository will be on Wednesday 10 February 2021 (in two weeks)If you know anyone who would benefit from these updates, please let me know.
 

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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