FAQ on COVID-19 transmission: babies & breast milk
Medela has gathered the latest recommendations to help answer questions for health care professionals and mothers about COVID-19, e.g. if babies can get COVID-19 or if the virus can be transmitted through breast milk.
Can COVID-19 be transmitted through breast milk?
UNICEF, the WHO and the CDC report that from the limited studies on breastfeeding women with COVID-19 the active virus has not been detected in breast milk. Currently, the main concern is not whether the virus can be transmitted through breast milk, but rather that a mother infected with COVID-19 passes on the virus through respiratory droplets.
There are important steps to avoid spreading the virus to a baby including washing hands before holding the baby, and wearing a face mask when a mother is in close contact with her baby, including when breastfeeding.
Research has shown that mothers who have had COVID-19 pass on antibodies to their infant via their breast milk, further supporting the recommendation to continue breastfeeding
Can babies get COVID-19?
According to the CDC it is very rare for newborn babies to get COVID-19. In some rare cases newborn babies have tested positive for COVID-19 shortly after birth. However, it is not known if they got the virus before, during, or after the birth.
Newborns who have COVID-19 tend to have mild symptoms or none at all and recover well. There has only been a few reports of newborns with severe COVID-19 illness.
The information and materials provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information available on this site are for general informational purposes only. Information on this website may not constitute the most up-to-date information. Medela reserves the right to supplement this website at any time or to change or delete any information or materials on this website.
This website contains links to other third-party websites. Such links are only for the convenience of the reader, user or browser; Medela does not recommend or endorse the contents of the third-party sites.
The information and materials on this web site is provided "as is"; no representations are made that the content is error-free. Whilst we have tried to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information and materials on this website, we do not warrant or guarantee the accurateness, completeness, adequacy or currency of the information and materials contained in or linked to this website.
All liability with respect to actions taken or not taken based on the content of this website are hereby expressly disclaimed. Your use of content contained in or linked to this website is entirely at your own risk. Medela accepts no liability for any loss or damage howsoever arising out of the use of this website or reliance on the content of this website.