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Breastfeeding and coronavirus disease-2019

Ad interim indications of the Italian Society of Neonatology endorsed by the Union of European Neonatal & Perinatal Societies Davanzo R et al.  (Matern Child Nutr 2020; e13010; doi: 10.1111 / mcn.13010) Compiled by: Dr.  Aydan Karagül (Antalya EAH, Medical Virology).

The Italian Society of Neonatology (SIN) has compiled the literature information, has established consensus, and this consensus has been approved by the European Association of Neonatalogy and Perinathology Societies in order to clarify questions about the care of mother and baby after birth and breastfeeding. 

What information is available about COVID-19 infection in a newborn? 

• It has not been clarified whether there is transplacental transmission.  However, similar to past SARS-COVI and MERS-COV outbreaks, the severity of infection in the mother and existing obstetric diseases may be more effective in fetus and neonatal clinical outcomes (eg, premature) than the infection of the SARS-COV2 infection from mother to baby.  • Available information does not support intrauterine transmission of COVID-19 infection.  Therefore, a COVID-19 infection in a newborn may be the result of respiratory transmission from the mother in the postpartum period rather than in the antepartum period.  • Clinic is milder in neonatal COVID-19 cases compared to older age groups. 

Should the breastfeeding of the infected mother be encouraged? 

• In the light of the available scientific information, the milk of the infected mother is not considered a route of transmission, similar to other respiratory viral infections.  Breastfeeding should be encouraged by taking the right infection control measures to reduce contact with the infected patient’s secretions and to reduce contamination.

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