Last update: May 23, 2020

Maternal SARS-CoV-2 infection

Very Low Risk for breastfeeding

Safe. Compatible.
Minimal risk for breastfeeding and infant.

Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that cause respiratory infections in animals and humans.
Most often they cause a mild cold with cough, runny nose, sore throat, fever and mild respiratory distress.

For several years, several strains of coronavirus have spread throughout the world and are the cause of a high percentage of colds in children and adults. They have a low mortality rate and, as in other influenza viruses, medical complications and mortality are higher in elderly and in patients suffering from chronic illnesses (respiratory, cardiovascular, diabetes, etc.).

Some strains of coronavirus that have recently mutated from animals to humans are more aggressive and can cause serious respiratory problems, such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS-CoV) which originated in China in 2003 and the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS-CoV) from 2012. Both strains had a relatively high mortality rate but were not very contagious and no cases of them have been detected since.

The new Wuhan coronavirus (2019-nCoV, SARS-CoV-2) from China in 2019, as of this update, is known to be more contagious than the previous ones but has a low mortality rate. Again, the elderly and those with chronic illnesses are at greater risk of presenting severe symptoms.
The vast majority of children, including newborns, have a mild illness or are asymptomatic (DE Rose 2020/04/29, Wei 2020, Ludvigsson 2020).
The virus is transmitted before, during and after the period when the patient has symptoms.
The disease, called COVID-19, has no specific treatment and no vaccines. The treatment is supportive: rest, fever and cough medications, hydration, humidification, respiratory support if necessary, etc.
Measures to prevent contagion are frequent hand washing with soap and water and staying more than a metre away from people who cough (WHO / OMS 2020/03/04)

(AAP 2020/05/21, WHO 2020/04/17, MS Argentina 2020/04/15, Stuebe 2020/04/07, Davanzo 2020/04/06, Italian SN 2020/04/03, LLLI&CDC 2020, SFC-2020/03/14, RCOG 2020/03/13, WHO/WHO 2020/01/20, UNICEF 2020/03/04, LLLi 2020/02/20, AELAMA 2020, IESMP 20202/03/15, ILCA 2020/03/18, INSP Mexico 2020)

SARS-CoV from 2003 and 2012 was not detected in breast milk. The 2019-nCoV virus has been detected only in a small proportion of breast milk samples, without transmission to infants having been demonstrated (Groß 2020/05/21, Lackey 2020/05/20, De Rose 2020/04/29, Chen 2020, CDC 2020/02/19). The American Academy of Pediatrics strongly supports breastfeeding as the best feeding option for newborns and infants even for mothers affected by CoViD-19 (AAP 2020/05/21).

Since the symptoms, at least initial ones, are those of a common cold, it is very difficult and ineffective to isolate in time a mother with cold symptoms from her breastfeeding baby.
Taking into account the benefits of breastfeeding and the insignificant role of breastmilk in the transmission of other respiratory viruses, mothers can continue to breastfeed.
Neonatal case: a mother positive to COVID-19, after childbirth, should wear a medical mask when close to her newborn baby and wash her hands well before close contact with the baby.
If the mother is too sick to breastfeed, milk should be expressed in order to avoid breast engorgement problems. This milk can be consumed by the infant (AAP 2020/05/21, MS Argentina 2020/04/15, Italian SN 2020/04/03, UNICEF 2020/03/04, LLLi 2020/02/20, CDC 2020/02/19).

See below the information of these related products:

Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM´s pediatricians and pharmacists, and are based on updated scientific publications.
It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it.

Jose Maria Paricio, Founder & President of APILAM/e-Lactancia

Your contribution is essential for this service to continue to exist. We need the generosity of people like you who believe in the benefits of breastfeeding.

Thank you for helping to protect and promote breastfeeding.

José María Paricio, founder of e-lactancia.

Other names

Maternal SARS-CoV-2 infection is also known as Maternal Coronavirus 2019-nCoV infection . Here it is a list of alternative known names::


Maternal SARS-CoV-2 infection belongs to this group or family:


  1. WHO. Home care for patients with suspected novel coronavirus (nCoV) infection presenting with mild symptoms and management of contacts Interim guidance 20 January 2020 2020 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  2. OMS. Atención en el domicilio de pacientes presuntamente infectados por el nuevo coronavirus (nCoV) que tengan síntomas leves y gestión de los contactos. Orientaciones provisionales 20 de enero de 2020. 2020 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  3. OMS. Preguntas y respuestas sobre la enfermedad por coronavirus (COVID-19). Acceso 2020-03-04. 2020 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  4. WHO Q&A on coronaviruses (COVID-19). Access 2020.03.04. 2020 Full text (link to original source)
  5. UNICEF. Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): What parents should know. How to protect yourself and your children. Access 2020.03.04. 2020 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  6. UNICEF. Coronavirus (COVID-19): lo que los padres deben saber. Cómo protegerte a ti y a tus hijos. Acceso 04/03/2020. 2020 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  7. LLLI - La Leche League International. Continuing to Nurse Your Baby Through Coronavirus (2019-nCoV; COVID-19) and Other Respiratory Infections. News from LLLI. 2020 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  8. LLLI - Liga de La Leche Internacional. Seguir Amamantando a tu Bebé Durante Una Infección con Coronavirus (2019-nCoV; COVID-19) y Otras Infecciones Respiratorias. Noticias de LLLI. 2020 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  9. CDC - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Interim Guidance on Breastfeeding for a Mother Confirmed or Under Investigation For COVID-19. (2020/02/19) 2020 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  10. AELAMA - Asociación Española de Lactancia Materna Manejo del riesgo de contagio por coronavirus en madres y recién nacidos. 2020 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  11. RCOG - Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection in Pregnancy. Information for healthcare professionals. Version 6: Published Friday 13 March 2020 and 06/04/2020 versión 2020 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  12. SFC - Safely Fed Canada COVID19 resoné¡res and statements related to breastfeeding. 2020/03/14 2020 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  13. Wei M, Yuan J, Liu Y, Fu T, Yu X, Zhang ZJ. Novel Coronavirus Infection in Hospitalized Infants Under 1 Year of Age in China. JAMA. 2020 Feb 14. Abstract Full text (link to original source)
  14. Chen H, Guo J, Wang C, Luo F, Yu X, Zhang W, Li J, Zhao D, Xu D, Gong Q, Liao J, Yang H, Hou W, Zhang Y. Clinical characteristics and intrauterine vertical transmission potential of COVID-19 infection in nine pregnant women: a retrospective review of medical records. Lancet. 2020 Mar 7;395(10226):809-815. Abstract
  15. IESMP - Instituto Europeo de Salud Mental Perinatal. COVID 19: Recomendaciones OMS para asegurar el contacto madre-bebé tras el parto y la lactancia materna. 15/03/2020. 2020 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  16. ILCA - International lactation consultant association. ILCA Statement on Breastfeeding and Lactation Support During the COVID-19 Pandemic. 2020/03/18. 2020 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  17. SEFH - Sociedad Española de Farmacia Hospitalaria. Procedimientos de farmacia hospitalaria para la gestión del tratamiento con antivirales en la enfermedad por el nuevo coronavirus sars-cov-2 (COVID-19). Recomendaciones de la Sociedad Española de Farmacia Hospitalaria. 2020 Full text (in our servers)
  18. LLLI & CDC. BREASTFEEDING & COVID-19 (infographic). PRAECLARUS.COM. 2020 Full text (in our servers)
  19. Ludvigsson JF. Systematic review of COVID-19 in children show milder cases and a better prognosis than adults. Acta Paediatr. 2020 Mar 23. Abstract
  20. INSP México - Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública de México. Lactancia materna protege contra el coronavirus COVID-19. 2020 Full text (in our servers)
  21. LLLI & CDC. LACTANCIA MATERNA y COVID-19 (infografía) PRAECLARUS.COM. 2020 2020 Full text (in our servers)
  22. Italian Society of Neonatology - Davanzo R, Moro G, Sandri F, Agosti M, Moretti C, Mosca F. Breastfeeding and Coronavirus Disease-2019. Ad interim indications of the Italian Society of Neonatology endorsed by the Union of European Neonatal & Perinatal Societies. Matern Child Nutr. 2020 Apr 3:e13010. Abstract
  23. RCOG - Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists Coronavirus infection and pregnancy. Information for pregnant women and their families. 2020 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  24. Stuebe A. Should Infants Be Separated from Mothers with COVID-19? First, Do No Harm. Breastfeed Med. 2020 Apr 7. Abstract Full text (link to original source)
  25. Ministerio de Salud Argentina. COVID-19 - Recomendaciones para la atención de embarazadas y recién nacidos. 2020/04/15 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  26. WHO - UNICEF. Key messages on breastfeeding and CoVid-19. 2020.04.17. Full text (in our servers)
  27. Pulaski Wyckoff, Alyson. Associate Editor. AAP updates guidance on newborns whose mothers have suspected or confirmed COVID-19 AAP News, 2020 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  28. Groß R, Conzelmann C, Müller JA, Stenger S, Steinhart K, Kirchhoff F, Jan Münch. Detection of SARS-CoV-2 in human breastmilk The Lancet, 2020/05/21 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  29. Lackey KA, Pace RM, Williams JE, et al. SARS­CoV­2 and human milk: what is the evidence? medRxiv 2020; published online April 20. Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)

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e-lactancia is a resource recommended by Instituto de Salud Infantil, Grecia-Institute of Child's Health in Greece

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