According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it’s unknown if pregnant women have a greater chance of getting sick from COVID-19 than the general public nor whether they are more likely to have serious illness as a result. It’s always important for pregnant women to protect themselves from illnesses.
While it’s still not known if a woman can pass the virus to her fetus or baby during pregnancy or delivery, no infant has tested positive after being born to a woman who tested positive for the coronavirus. In these cases, which are a small number, the virus wasn’t found in samples of amniotic fluid or breast milk.
Breast milk provides protection against many illnesses. The CDC recommends that a mother with virus continue breastfeeding or feeding expressed breast milk to her infant while taking precautions to avoid spreading the virus to her infant, via coughing or sneezing. Limited studies show that other, similar viruses aren’t transmitted through breast milk.
Breast milk is the best source of nutrition for most infants. Whether and how to start or continue breastfeeding should be determined by the mother in coordination with her family and healthcare providers.