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Covid-19: the breast milk of infected women does contain protective antibodies

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As we know, breast milk is full of virtues for the newborn. It is particularly rich in antibodies, these cells of the immune system that protect us in the event of infection.

With the arrival of Sars-CoV-2, the whole issue was whether you could breastfeed while being infected (the answer is yes, because the virus does not pass into breast milk), and whether the protective antibodies produced by the mother were transmitted to the infant. And again, the answer is yes.

Thus, breastfeeding your infant after having contracted Covid-19 or been vaccinated can transmit protection against this new virus to the baby.

In a new study (source 1) published on December 23 in the journal Frontiers in Immunology, American researchers publish new data in this direction. They report that, on the one hand, breast milk does not contain the genetic heritage of the virus, and on the other hand, that he does confer protection against the virus for the newborn due to the presence of maternal antibodies.

The study was conducted among 64 breastfeeding women, in whom milk and nipple cell samples were taken several times, over a two-month period starting from the week of the diagnosis of Covid-19.

If the presence of the virus was found in the nipple samples, it was the result of the mother’s cough or some other type of external contamination. After washing the nipple, only two of 29 nipple skin samples revealed the presence of Sars-CoV-2.

In contrast, 75% of 316 breast milk samples contained IgA antibodies against the new coronavirus, whose concentration in milk has increased during the first two weeks after the onset of symptoms or the positive test. These antibodies persisted in the milk for at least two months in 77% of women, note the researchers. Enough to provide the baby with a lasting source of passive immunity, according to the authors, who see no reason to contraindicate breastfeeding in these times of a pandemic, quite the contrary.

Data and recommendations that go in the same direction as those of the World Health Organization (WHO).

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