COVID-infected mothers separated from their babies affects breastfeeding outcomes

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New Rochelle, NY, February 10, 2021–It may be safe for COVID-infected mothers to maintain contact with their babies. Keeping them apart can cause maternal distress and have a negative effect on exclusive breastfeeding later in infancy, according to The COVID Mothers Study published in the peer-reviewed journal Breastfeeding Medicine. Click here to read the article now.

In this worldwide study, infants who did not directly breastfeed, experience skin-to-skin care, or who did not room-in within arms’ reach of their mothers were less likely to be exclusively breastfed in the first 3 months of life. Nearly 60% of mothers who experienced separation reported feeling very distressed, and 78% reported at least moderate distress. Nearly 1/3 of separated mothers (29%) were unable to breastfeed once reunited with their infants, despite trying.

“Our research contributes to the emerging evidence that skin-to-skin care, rooming-in within arms’ reach, and direct breastfeeding may be safe for mothers infected with SARS-CoV-2,” said Melissa Bartick, MD, Mount Auburn Hospital, and coauthors.

Arthur I. Eidelman, MD, Editor-in-Chief of Breastfeeding Medicine, states: “This report strengthens the recommendation that breastfeeding should be continued to be encouraged and supported in this era of the COVID-19 pandemic and that direct breastfeeding is indicated for mothers infected with SARS-CoV-2.”

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About the Journal

Breastfeeding Medicine, the official journal of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine, is an authoritative, peer-reviewed, multidisciplinary journal published 10 times per year in print and online. The Journal publishes original scientific papers, reviews, and case studies on a broad spectrum of topics in lactation medicine. It presents evidence-based research advances and explores the immediate and long-term outcomes of breastfeeding, including the epidemiologic, physiologic, and psychological benefits of breastfeeding. Tables of content and a sample issue may be viewed on the Breastfeeding Medicine website.

Source: COVID-infected mothers separated from their babies affects breastfeeding outcomes



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