Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
. 2020 Apr 3;e13010.
doi: 10.1111/mcn.13010. Online ahead of print.

Breastfeeding and Coronavirus disease-2019: Ad Interim Indications of the Italian Society of Neonatology Endorsed by the Union of European Neonatal & Perinatal Societies


Breastfeeding and Coronavirus disease-2019: Ad Interim Indications of the Italian Society of Neonatology Endorsed by the Union of European Neonatal & Perinatal Societies

Riccardo Davanzo et al. Matern Child Nutr. .


The recent COVID-19 pandemic has spread to Italy with heavy consequences on public health and economics. Besides the possible consequences of COVID-19 infection on a pregnant woman and the fetus, a major concern is related to the potential effect on neonatal outcome, the appropriate management of the mother-newborn dyad, and finally the compatibility of maternal COVID-19 infection with breastfeeding. The Italian Society on Neonatology (SIN) after reviewing the limited scientific knowledge on the compatibility of breastfeeding in the COVID-19 mother and the available statements from Health Care Organizations has issued the following indications that have been endorsed by the Union of European Neonatal & Perinatal Societies (UENPS). If a mother previously identified as COVID-19 positive or under investigation for COVID-19 is asymptomatic or paucisymptomatic at delivery, rooming-in is feasible, and direct breastfeeding is advisable, under strict measures of infection control. On the contrary, when a mother with COVID-19 is too sick to care for the newborn, the neonate will be managed separately and fed fresh expressed breast milk, with no need to pasteurize it, as human milk is not believed to be a vehicle of COVID-19. We recognize that this guidance might be subject to change in the future when further knowledge will be acquired about the COVID-19 pandemic, the perinatal transmission of SARS-CoV-2, and clinical characteristics of cases of neonatal COVID-19.

Keywords: birth; breastfeeding; breastfeeding promotion; human milk; infectious disease; neonate.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 4 articles

  • The Impact of the Current SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic on Neonatal Care.
    Arnaez J, Montes MT, Herranz-Rubia N, Garcia-Alix A. Arnaez J, et al. Front Pediatr. 2020 Apr 30;8:247. doi: 10.3389/fped.2020.00247. eCollection 2020. Front Pediatr. 2020. PMID: 32426312 Free PMC article. No abstract available.
  • Delivery in Asymptomatic Italian Woman with SARS-CoV-2 Infection.
    De Socio GV, Malincarne L, Arena S, Troiani S, Benedetti S, Camilloni B, Epicoco G, Mencacci A, Francisci D. De Socio GV, et al. Mediterr J Hematol Infect Dis. 2020 May 1;12(1):e2020033. doi: 10.4084/MJHID.2020.033. eCollection 2020. Mediterr J Hematol Infect Dis. 2020. PMID: 32395222 Free PMC article. No abstract available.
  • SARS-CoV-2: Is it the newest spark in the TORCH?
    Muldoon KM, Fowler KB, Pesch MH, Schleiss MR. Muldoon KM, et al. J Clin Virol. 2020 Jun;127:104372. doi: 10.1016/j.jcv.2020.104372. Epub 2020 Apr 14. J Clin Virol. 2020. PMID: 32335336 Free PMC article. Review.
  • Novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in children.
    Tezer H, Bedir Demirdağ T. Tezer H, et al. Turk J Med Sci. 2020 Apr 21;50(SI-1):592-603. doi: 10.3906/sag-2004-174. Turk J Med Sci. 2020. PMID: 32304191 Free PMC article. Review.



    1. Ashour, H. M., Elkhatib, W. F., Rahman, M. M., & Elshabrawy, H. A. (2020). Insights into the recent 2019 novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) in light of past human coronavirus outbreaks. Pathogens, 9(3), 186.
    1. Binns, C., Lee, M., & Low, W. Y. (2016). The long-term public health benefits of breastfeeding. Asia-Pacific Journal of Public Health, 28(1), 7-14.
    1. Cao, Q., Chen, Y. C., Chen, C. L., & Chiu, C. H. (2020). SARS-CoV-2 infection in children: transmission dynamic and clinical characteristics. Journal of the Formosan Medical Association, 119, 670-673.
    1. Chan, J. F., Yuan, S., Kok, K. H., To, K. K., Chu, H., Yang, J., … Yuen, K. Y. (2020). A familial cluster of pneumonia associated with the 2019 novel coronavirus indicating person-to-person transmission: a study of a family cluster. Lancet, 395, 514-523.
    1. Chen, H., Guo, J., Wang, C., Luo, F., Yu, X., Zhang, W., … Zhang, Y. (2020). Clinical characteristics and intrauterine vertical transmission potentialof COVID-19 infection in nine pregnant women: a retrospective review of medical records. Lancet, 395(10226), 809-815. [Epub ahead of print].

LinkOut - more resources