Breastfeeding and COVID-19 for health care workers

Frequently asked question



The interim guidance and FAQ reflect:

  1. the available evidence regarding transmission risks of COVID-19 through breastmilk;
  2.  the protective effects of breastfeeding and skin-to-skin contact, and
  3.  the harmful effects of inappropriate use of infant formula milk.

The FAQ also draws on other WHO recommendations on Infant and Young Child Feeding and the Interagency Working Group Operational Guidance on Infant and Young Child Feeding in Emergencies. A decision tree shows how these recommendations may be implemented by health workers in maternity services and community settings, as part of daily work with mothers and families.

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