Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Dear all,

I am very concerned about an article published today in the J of Human Lactation entitled ‘Safe Handling of Containers of Expressed Human Milk in all Settings During the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19)’. The authors state without evidence, that bottles of donor milk may transmit COVID-19 coronavirus, and that these bottles need to be cleansed with an antiviral substance before storing in the NICU freezer. The Human Milk Banking Association of North America follows the FDA guidelines on safe food handling. These guidelines and protocols basically prevent bottles of donor milk from transmitting SARS-CoV-2 virus, just like other various pathogens such as E Coli, Staph aureus, salmonella, hepatitis, norovirus and influenza, all of which can also remain on surfaces for long periods of time.  The authors also claim that every mother on earth should wear a mask when pumping whether they are having any viral symptoms or not. Yes, that means kiss and hug the baby, then put a mask on to pump. Further they claim that every bottle of breastmilk that is handed to someone else to feed the infant should be washed with antiviral substances (mind you, not the toys, formula bottles, diapers, pacifiers, or the floor the baby crawls on). I am so disappointed in these authors and the Journal editor for not taking down this opinion article despite protests from many professionals such as myself. I have only read such unsubstantiated articles about breastfeeding in publications/websites that are anti-breastfeeding, so needless to say, I am shocked.