Is it safe for a mother who contracted Covid-19 to breastfeed her baby?
Dr. Maria Asuncion Silvestre, said that mothers, even symptomatic, can continue breastfeeding their babies.
Mothers, according to Dr. Silvestre who is a member of the Healthcare Professionals Alliance Against Covid-19, should not forget to wear their face masks, wash their hands, and make sure that their surroundings are disinfected before they breastfeed for the very reason that the virus is transmitted through droplets.
“Breast milk itself has not been demonstrated to transmit the virus,” she added.
The mother should not also be separated from the baby for she might transmit antibodies to her baby.
Trizia, a Registered Nutritionist-Dietitian, of Las Piñas City, continues to breastfeed her one year five months old toddler even if she contracted the virus.
Dr. Silvestre said that Trizia breastfed her baby throughout her own Covid illness and even after her vaccination.
“The baby is fine,” Dr. Silvestre shared.
Lovelinne, a registered nurse, is also a Covid-19 survivor. She was not separated from her baby while she was in a quarantine facility in Tacloban City.
After surpassing the allotted 90 day recovery period from Covid, she was vaccinated.
“[She] breastfed her baby immediately after vaccination,” Dr. Silvestre added.
Meanwhile, Badit, the head nurse of Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center, was caring for her mother who was infected.
“Both contracted Covid…[but she] continued breastfeeding,” Dr. Silvestre said. Her husband and baby on the other hand tested negative.
Dr. Silvestre also clarified that breastfeeding women can be vaccinated with any of the Covid-19 vaccines as supported by the guidelines of the World Health Organization (WHO).
“If a breastfeeding woman is part of a group recommended for vaccination, Covid-19 vaccination can be offered,” she said adding that it is not recommended to discontinue breastfeeding before or after vaccination.
She reiterated that there is no data on the safety of Covid-19 vaccines in breastfeeding or on the breastfed infant.
“Despite this, Covid-19 vaccines are not thought to be a risk to the breastfeeding infant, and the benefits of breastfeeding are well known,” she said.
Because of this, Dr. Silvestre also said, many countries recommended that the vaccine can be received while breastfeeding.
“This is in line with the recommendations of WHO, UK, Australia, US and others,” Dr. Silvestre concluded.