Babycare Health

Should Moms Breastfeed in Case of Coronavirus (Covid-19) Symptoms


Created by Narayan
Updated on Mar 26, 2020

Should Moms Breastfeed in Case of Coronavirus Covid 19 Symptoms
Reviewed by Expert panel

Safety of expecting moms and newborns has been a worldwide concern during the Coronavirus pandemic. Many countries have proactively tried to issue guidelines for breastfeeding mothers and expecting women on staying safe from the Covid-19 infection. However, a lot more needs to be done to find a concrete path for ensuring safety.

What do We Know So Far About Covid-19 Effects on Moms?

So far 38 cases have been documented of women contacting novel Coronavirus while pregnant and then giving birth to a baby. Here’s a summary of observations:

1. Transmission of Covid-19 virus through breastmilk is not a concern as of now. Whether to breastfeed or not, should be decided by the mom and family and caretakers.

2. Infected mothers should take all the precautions to not spread the virus to the baby via respiratory droplets.

What Precautions to Take for Breastfeeding Under Covid-19 Infection?

Although so far the evidence suggests that the novel Coronavirus infection doesn’t pass on to the newborn in the mother’s womb or through breastmilk, droplets from infected mothers can still affect the baby.

Thus, here are the step by step precautions you must take to safeguard the baby:

1. Use Face Mask: Wear a mask at all times (even while breastfeeding) while handling the baby

2. Always Wash Hands: Always wash your hands before touching the baby

3. Sneeze in Your Elbow: You may happen to sneeze or cough during breastfeeding. Practice doing so in the elbow of your less dominant hand; i.e. 

  • In the left-hand elbow if you are a right-handed person

  • In the right-hand elbow if you are a left-handed person

4. Using Tissues: Alternatively, you can use tissues to cough or sneeze while breastfeeding. Put these issues in a solution of soap and water, before disposing of them.

Note: Soap water will dissolve the virus within a few minutes and render the tissues neutral. Do not reuse the tissues in any case, and wash hands thoroughly (for at least 30 seconds to 1 min.) with soap after disposing of the tissues.

Follow the same procedure with masks as well before throwing them in the trash. Read here: Ways to Safely Dispose Anti Bacterial, Precautionary, Masks Used By Patients, Caregivers & Consequences of Improper Disposal of Masks

5. Using Electric or Manual Breast Pump

This can be a preferable solution in these situations. Especially when you are feeling tired because of infection. Take care of the following steps while using this method of breastfeeding:

Does Novel Coronavirus Not Affect Children?

This is one of the numerous myths circulating on social media. The fact is children do get infected and have symptoms of illness from Covid-19 infection. All the studies point to the following facts in this regard:

1. Children Are Infected: The virus does infect the children, however, at a lower rate than adults

2. Child Will Have Symptoms: Most of the affected children showed one or the other symptoms. However, the severity of these symptoms has been much lower than adults.

Remember, that this virus is so new and has been behaving in a unique manner, than any other virus from the same family. The result of this combination of novelty and uniqueness is that even the best experts are only watching the development without any conclusive comments.

Therefore, precaution is the best cure for now. To summarise - maintain social distance, wash hands, cover the face, and maintain hygiene religiously. Avoid the infection as long as possible, and give the experts time to find a cure, or a vaccination. That is the best thing we can do as general public.


This content has been checked & validated by Doctors and Experts of the parentune Expert panel. Our panel consists of Neonatologist, Gynecologist, Peadiatrician, Nutritionist, Child Counselor, Education & Learning Expert, Physiotherapist, Learning disability Expert and Developmental Pead.

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| Mar 30, 2020

Thank alot. As I was very much concerned about my 6 months baby. May allah protect us all.

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| Mar 27, 2020

Very informative message in this right situation.

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| Mar 27, 2020

Very useful information . Thanks for sharing Narayan ! Very true, the new mantra is, 'Precaution is the best cure!'

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