- Parents use breast milk in combination with COVID-19 antibodies to help protect their children.
- It is not clear how well the milk is protected and sharing outside the milk bank could be at risk.
- A lactating woman feeds antibody-rich milk to older children unharmed. But it might not be worth it.
- Visit the Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Some parents who want to protect their children from COVID-19 are turning to an unusual elixir: breast milk with COVID-19 antibodies.
Some people who are unable or unable to breastfeed any longer are looking for it from moms in the community or online, and other breastfeeding women secretly breastfeeding their babies̵7; meals. Intelligencer report.
Research shows that previously vaccinated and infected mothers developed anti-COVID-19 antibodies in breast milk.
But it is not clear how effective they are in preventing disease in babies, how much protection will milk provide and how long that protection will last. Sharing breast milk outside the milk bank can also be risky, and most children are not as susceptible to COVID-19 as young and old, and they tend not to get sick either.
But some parents say that without a vaccine that is approved for the child, the use of breast milk is a worthwhile risk. “If there is a way I can do something that provides some degree of protection to my child, I want to try it,” said Courtney Carson, a mother of a 4-month-old in Brooklyn in Dugan. With Good Morning America
What we know about COVID-19 antibodies in breast milk
Early in the epidemic, research found how mothers who were infected with COVID-19 were able to pass protective antibodies in the uterus and through breast milk.
Study author Rebecca Powell told Insider her latest research, which has yet to be published in a peer-reviewed journal, shows that prevention appears to last up to 10 months, the longest that her team can. Can track mothers who have previously been infected
“We found these antibodies to be really resistant over time, which is very good,” said Powell, assistant professor of medicine and infectious disease at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
She encourages everyone, including breastfeeding mothers who have been infected with the COVID-19 virus, to get vaccinated not only to be safer than getting COVID-19. A pregnant woman who receives the COVID-19 vaccine also passes antibodies to the fetus and through breast milk, possibly protecting the newborn from the virus when they are most susceptible.
But there is still a lot to be learned about how strong and long-lasting a vaccine made against COVID-19 in babies, including one vaccine, is better for breastfeeding mothers than others. ? “If research and money were there, we could always design a vaccine with breastfeeding women in mind,” Powell said.
Sharing milk outside the milk bank is at risk.
The potential benefits of breast milk with any type of antibody right now have some parents who are unable or unable to breastfeed any longer, looking for friends, neighbors and strangers online, Carson, who is a mom. Intelligencer and GMA are one of them. She received three offers after asking about it on her Brooklyn parents’ Facebook app.
But the FDA doesn’t encourage sharing breast milk that way. (Unlike milk banks) because they may carry infectious diseases, drugs, environmental contaminants and drug metabolism. In evaluating more than 100 samples of breast milk sold online before the outbreak, the scientists found most of them contained pathogenic bacteria, some of which resemble sewers.
Shared breast milk may be handled improperly. “The risks certainly outweigh the potential benefits,” ABC News chief medical correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton told GMA.
Powell told the Insider if you’re seeking or sharing breast milk, the safest bet is to do it with people you know well. “Sharing milk can be a very good thing. But you have to know the risks and the context, ”she said.“ Being anonymous, it might not be the way to go. ”
Some lactating women breastfeed children with COVID-19 antibodies.
Some mothers with COVID-19 antibody-rich breast milk are reconsidering the value of breast milk in their families.
Powell said she received an email from a breastfeeding mother wondering if they should wait longer for their baby to wean, or to pump an antibody-containing breast milk to add to an older baby’s egg and sippy cup.
“It has become an epidemic for people to think of and be aware of. [that] Your milk is always good, ”said Powell, who is breastfeeding herself at 3.
She said there was no risk of breastfeeding the child. But it is unclear whether this will provide much protection against COVID-19, as a child’s diet is more diverse than babies. So the number is a limiting factor, she said, and a parent’s comfort and timing are also important.
“If it’s easy to do and make you happy,” Powell said. On the other hand, no one should feel pressured to pump older babies or try to feed again. “There’s not enough information to say you should do that,” she said. “Mom has a lot of pressure to begin with.”