Coronavirus and Breastfeeding: What Nursing Moms Should Know About COVID-19

From whether the coronavirus can be transmitted through breast milk to how to clean your pump, here’s the latest information for nursing moms.

It’s no secret that we’re living in a confusing time right now. Cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, have been increasing by about a thousand each day in the U.S. If you’re currently breastfeeding (or pregnant and planning on doing so when baby is born), it’s natural to have questions about what the coronavirus outbreak means for you as a nursing mom.

Keep in mind: Because the novel coronavirus is so new, the guidance from experts continues to change. As of now, here’s everything health officials know about breastfeeding and COVID-19.

Can the coronavirus be transmitted through breast milk?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) acknowledges that there’s a lot health officials don’t yet know about how the coronavirus is spread. Right know, here’s what they believe right now:

  • It’s thought that the coronavirus spreads from person to person mainly through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how the flu and other respiratory viruses are spread.
  • Studies that have been conducted on women with COVID-19 have so far not detected the virus in breast milk, the CDC says. In one small study of nine pregnant women in Wuhan, China, with confirmed COVID-19, researchers found no evidence of the virus in their breast milk, cord blood or amniotic fluid.