At the time of writing (16/05/2020) there is no evidence that Covid-19 is transmitted through breastmilk.
HSE guidelines state that the benefits of breastfeeding outweigh the potential risk of transmission of Covid-19 and that breastfeeding is encouraged, including in cases where mothers have suspected or confirmed Covid-19.
Hand hygiene before feeds and the use of a three ply surgical facemask is recommended to reduce risk of transmission via respiratory droplets.
During this pandemic, more than ever, it is important to encourage breastfeeding. In the case of combination feeding, the infant’s exposure to breastmilk should be kept as high as possible. As well as its numerous benefits to mother, infant, the family and society, breastmilk offers protection against infection and is freely available in these uncertain times.
Parents may need support and guidance with breastfeeding, expressing or in cases where the infant is combination or formula fed, with increasing supply or relactation.
The HSE and RCPI Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists guidance for Maternity Services in Covid-19 are linked below as well as the La Leche League International Statement on Breastfeeding during Covid-19 which has resources in multiple languages.
Click here for resources related to COVID-19 vaccination in pregnancy and breastfeeding