Best Practices for Human Milk Collection for COVID-19 Research.
Breastfeeding medicine : the official journal of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine. 2021;(1):29-38
In addition to providing life-giving nutrients and other substances to the breastfed infant, human milk can also represent a vehicle of pathogen transfer. As such, when an infectious disease outbreak, epidemic, or pandemic occurs-particularly when it is associated with a novel pathogen-the question will naturally arise as to whether the pathogen can be transmitted through breastfeeding. Until high-quality data are generated to answer this question, abandonment of breastfeeding due to uncertainty can result. The COVID-19 pandemic, which was in full swing at the time this document was written, is an excellent example of this scenario. During these times of uncertainty, it is critical for investigators conducting research to assess the possible transmission of pathogens through milk, whether by transfer through the mammary gland or contamination from respiratory droplets, skin, breast pumps, and milk containers, and/or close contact between mother and infant. To promote the most rigorous science, it is critical to outline optimal methods for milk collection, handling, storage, and analysis in these situations, and investigators should openly share their methods in published materials. Otherwise, the risks of inconsistent test results from preanalytical and analytical variation, false positives, and false negatives are unacceptably high and the ability to provide public health guidance poor. In this study, we provide "best practices" for collecting human milk samples for COVID-19 research with the intention that this will also be a useful guide for future pandemics.
COVID-19: Relationship and Impact on Breastfeeding-A Systematic Review.
COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus that was declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern by the World Health Organization (WHO). One major problem faced is whether breastfeeding by mothers infected with the virus is safe. The objective of this work is to study the impact that the SARS-CoV-2 virus can have on breastfeeding, and whether the virus or antibodies can be transmitted from mother to child through milk. We carried out a systematic review of studies focusing on the impact of SARS-CoV-2 on breastfeeding by mothers infected with the virus. The bibliographic search was done through Medline (Pubmed), MedlinePlus and Google Scholar. From 292 records, the title and summary of each were examined according to the criteria, and whether they meet the selection criteria was also analysed. A total of 30 articles are included, of which 26 deal with the study of RNA virus in breastmilk and its involvement in breastfeeding and four on the study of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in milk. Most studies have been conducted in China. Breastfeeding by mothers infected with SARS-CoV-2 is highly recommended for infants, if the health of the mother and the infant allow for it. Direct breastfeeding and maintaining appropriate protective measures should be encouraged. Should the mother's health condition not permit direct breastfeeding, infants should be fed with pumped breastmilk or donor milk.
SARS-CoV-2 Infections and Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: Results from an Observational Study in Primary Care in Belgium.
International journal of environmental research and public health. 2020;(18)
COVID-19 also affects pregnant and breastfeeding women. Hence, clinicians and policymakers require reliable evidence on COVID-19 epidemiology and consequences in this population. We aimed to assess the susceptibility of pregnant women to SARS-CoV-2 and women's perceived impact of the pandemic on their breastfeeding practices, medical counseling and social support. We performed a cross-sectional study using an online survey in primary care in Belgium. Pregnant and breastfeeding women and women who breastfed in the preceding four weeks were eligible to participate. The survey was distributed through social media in April 2020. In total, 6470 women participated (i.e., 2647 pregnant and 3823 breastfeeding women). Overall, 0.3% of all respondents reported to have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, not indicating a higher susceptibility of pregnant women to contracting COVID-19. More than 90% refuted that the pandemic affected their breastfeeding practices, nor indicated that the coronavirus was responsible for breastfeeding cessation. Half of the women even considered giving longer breastmilk because of the coronavirus. In contrast, women's medical counseling and social support were negatively affected by the lockdown. Women without previous breastfeeding experience and in the early postpartum period experienced a higher burden in terms of reduced medical counseling and support. In the future, more consideration and alternative supportive measures such as tele-visits by midwives or perinatal organizations are required for these women.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding During COVID-19 Pandemic: A Systematic Review of Published Pregnancy Cases.
Frontiers in public health. 2020;:558144
Background: The COVID-19 pandemic is an emerging concern regarding the potential adverse effects during pregnancy. This study reviews knowledge on the impact of COVID-19 on pregnancy and describes the outcome of published cases of pregnant women diagnosed with COVID-19. Methods: Searches were conducted in PubMed®, Scopus®, Web of Science®, and MedRxiv® up to 26th June 2020, using PRISMA standards, to identify original published studies describing pregnant women at any gestational age diagnosed COVID-19. There were no date or language restrictions on the search. All identified studies were included irrespective of assumptions on study quality. Results: We identified 161 original studies reporting 3,985 cases of pregnant women with COVID-19 (1,007 discharged while pregnant). The 2,059 published cases with pregnancy outcomes resulted in 42 abortions, 21 stillbirths, and 2,015 live births. Preterm birth occurred in 23% of cases. Around 6% of pregnant women required admission to an intensive care unit and 28 died. There were 10 neonatal deaths. From the 163 cases with amniotic fluid, placenta, and/or cord blood analyzed for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, 10 were positive. Sixty-one newborns were positive for SARS-CoV-2. Four breast milk samples from 92 cases showed evidence of SARS-CoV-2. Conclusion: Emerging evidence suggests that vertical transmission is possible, however, there is still a limited number of reported cases with intrapartum samples. Information, counseling and adequate monitoring are essential to prevent and manage adverse effects of SARS-CoV-2 infection during pregnancy.
Management and Nutrition of Neonates during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Review of the Existing Guidelines and Recommendations.
American journal of perinatology. 2020;(S 02):S46-S53
OBJECTIVE We aimed at reviewing the currently available guidelines and scientific recommendations regarding the neonatal in-hospital management and feeding in the light of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. STUDY DESIGN We systematically searched the guideline databases, Medline, Embase, and nationale/international neonatal societies websites as of June 19, 2020, for guidelines on neonatal management and feeding during the COVID-19 pandemic, at the same time assessing the methodological quality using the Appraisal of Guidelines for Research and Evaluation II tool. RESULTS Eleven guidelines were included. The Chinese and American recommendations suggest separation of the mother and her neonate, whereas in French, Italian, UK, Canadian, and World Health Organization consensus documents the rooming-in is suggested, with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines suggesting to decide on a case-by-case basis. All the guidelines recommend breastfeeding or feeding with expressed maternal milk; the only exception is the Chinese recommendations, these last suggesting to avoid breastfeeding. CONCLUSION This review may provide a useful tool for clinicians and organizers, highlighting differences and similarities of the existing guidelines on the management and feeding strategies in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic. KEY POINTS · This study compares guidelines on management and nutrition of a newborn born to a mother with SARS-CoV-2 infection.. · Existing guidelines on neonatal management and nutrition during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic show many differences.. · The majority of recommendations are mainly based on experts' opinion and are not evidence-based..
Breastfeeding during the COVID-19 pandemic: Suggestions on behalf of woman study group of AMD.
Diabetes research and clinical practice. 2020;:108239
SARS-Cov2 infection has recently spread to Italy with important consequences on pregnancy management, mother and child health and mother-child contact. Breastfeeding improves the health of mother and child and reduces risk of neonatal infection with other pathogens that are likely to cause serious illness. To date no evidence confirmed COVID-19 vertical transmission from infected pregnant mother to their fetus. However it is well known that an infected mother can transmit the COVID-19 virus through respiratory droplets during breastfeeding or intimate contact. Thus, the mothers with known or suspected COVID-19 should adhere to standard and contact precautions during breastfeeding. Woman Study Group of AMD, after reviewing current knowledge about COVID-19 vertical transmission and the compatibility of breastfeeding in COVID-19 mother, the available recommendations from Health Care Organizations and main experts opinions, issued the following suggestions on breastfeeding during the COVID-19 pandemic, addressed both to mothers with and without diabetes. It should be considered that following suggestions may change in the future when more evidence is acquired regarding SARS-Cov2 infection.
Maternal transmission of SARS-COV-2 to the neonate, and possible routes for such transmission: a systematic review and critical analysis.
BJOG : an international journal of obstetrics and gynaecology. 2020;(11):1324-1336
BACKGROUND Early reports of COVID-19 in pregnancy described management by caesarean, strict isolation of the neonate and formula feeding. Is this practice justified? OBJECTIVE To estimate the risk of the neonate becoming infected with SARS-CoV-2 by mode of delivery, type of infant feeding and mother-infant interaction. SEARCH STRATEGY Two biomedical databases were searched between September 2019 and June 2020. SELECTION CRITERIA Case reports or case series of pregnant women with confirmed COVID-19, where neonatal outcomes were reported. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS Data were extracted on mode of delivery, infant infection status, infant feeding and mother-infant interaction. For reported infant infection, a critical analysis was performed to evaluate the likelihood of vertical transmission. MAIN RESULTS Forty nine studies included information on mode of delivery and infant infection status for 655 women and 666 neonates. In all, 28/666 (4%) tested positive postnatally. Of babies born vaginally, 8/292 (2.7%) tested positivecompared with 20/374 (5.3%) born by Caesarean. Information on feeding and baby separation were often missing, but of reported breastfed babies 7/148 (4.7%) tested positive compared with 3/56 (5.3%) for reported formula fed ones. Of babies reported as nursed with their mother 4/107 (3.7%) tested positive, compared with 6/46 (13%) for those who were reported as isolated. CONCLUSIONS Neonatal COVID-19 infection is uncommon, rarely symptomatic, and the rate of infection is no greater when the baby is born vaginally, breastfed or remains with the mother. TWEETABLE ABSTRACT Risk of neonatal infection with COVID-19 by delivery route, infant feeding and mother-baby interaction.
Best Practices for COVID-19-Positive or Exposed Mothers-Breastfeeding and Pumping Milk.
JAMA pediatrics. 2020;(12):1228
Congenital, Intrapartum and Postnatal Maternal-Fetal-Neonatal SARS-CoV-2 Infections: A Narrative Review.
BACKGROUND There is inconclusive evidence regarding congenital, intrapartum, and postnatal maternal-fetal-neonatal SARS-CoV-2 infections during the COVID-19 pandemic. A narrative review was conducted with the aim of guiding clinicians on the management of pregnant women with respect to congenital, intrapartum, and postnatal maternal-fetal-neonatal SARS-CoV-2 infections and breastfeeding during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS Searches were conducted in Web of Science, PubMed, Scopus, Dialnet, CUIDEN, Scielo, and Virtual Health Library to identify observational, case series, case reports, and randomized controlled trial studies assessing the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from mother to baby and/or through breastfeeding during the COVID-19 pandemic. RESULTS A total of 49 studies was included in this review, comprising 329 pregnant women and 331 neonates (two pregnant women delivered twins). The studies were performed in China (n = 26), USA (n = 7), Italy (n = 3), Iran (n = 2), Switzerland (n = 1), Spain (n = 1), Turkey (n = 1), Australia (n = 1), India (n = 1), Germany (n = 1), France (n = 1), Canada (n = 1), Honduras (n = 1), Brazil (n = 1), and Peru (n = 1). Samples from amniotic fluid, umbilical cord blood, placenta, cervical secretion, and breastmilk were collected and analyzed. A total of 15 placental swabs gave positive results for SARS-CoV-2 ribonucleic acid (RNA) on the fetal side of the placenta. SARS-CoV-2 RNA was found in seven breastmilk samples. One umbilical cord sample was positive for SARS-CoV-2. One amniotic fluid sample tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. CONCLUSIONS This study presents some evidence to support the potential of congenital, intrapartum, and postnatal maternal-fetal-neonatal SARS-CoV-2 infections during the COVID-19 pandemic. Mothers should follow recommendations including wearing a facemask and hand washing before and after breastfeeding.