The benefits of breastfeeding during COVID-19 crisis

While the current coronavirus pandemic continues to affect all people, families will still give birth and bring new life into the world. During the COVID-19 crisis, breastfeeding and the provision of human milk to infants is recommended by national and international organizations because it is effective against infectious diseases: It strengthens the immune system by directly transferring antibodies from the mother.

In an editorial in the Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic & Neonatal Nursing, Diane Lynn Spatz, PhD, RN-BC, FAAN, Professor of Perinatal Nursing & The Helen M. Shearer Professor of Nutrition at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing (Penn Nursing), provides guidance regarding breastfeeding and COVID-19 and reaffirms why it is of paramount importance to promote and protect the use of human milk and breastfeeding.

While it is unknown if COVID-19-positive mothers can transmit the virus through milk, in limited studies the virus has not been detected in human milk. We should use this pandemic as a way to increase visibility of the critical role of human milk and breastfeeding for all families at all times and educate the public about the importance of the use of human milk and breastfeeding as lifesaving medical interventions."

Diane Lynn Spatz, Ph.D., RN-BC, FAAN, Professor of Perinatal Nursing & The Helen M. Shearer Professor of Nutrition at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing

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