Mothers May Still Be Able to Breastfeed During Pandemic

By Melina Wisecup

The CCP virus outbreak poses a terrible prospect for a new mother—the possibility that she could infect her baby with the virus.  How should mothers weigh their options to care for their babies after birth?

Mothers can take heart in knowing that breastfeeding is still possible because, according to some studies, the virus has not been detected in breast milk.

parents holding baby
A mother and father hold their baby on Nov. 11, 2014. (Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)

Medical Director at UW Breastfeeding Medicine Clinic, Dr. Anne Eglash says breastfeeding is even more important now since it is widely known that breast milk protects newborns from getting severely sick.

“We know that breastfed babies, when they’re ill, they’re much less likely to be hospitalized for the severity of illness than babies who are artificially fed would be at risk for,” Eglash told NTD.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) most recent guidelines show only a small number of newborns have been infected, but it isn’t known if they were infected before or after birth. The CDC says virus transmission during pregnancy is “highly unlikely.”

If a mother suspects she or someone in the family could transmit the virus to the infant, the family can decide whether or not to keep the baby in the same room or isolate them after birth.

Eglash is the founder of the Academy of Breastfeeding, which is compiled of physician’s from many different healthcare facilities. She said they many physician members started noticing that where there’s a risk of infection, hospitals often separate mother from child without giving families much of a choice.