CDC issues guidelines on breastfeeding and Ebola
Both families and physicians are anxious about the potential impact of the Ebola virus for mothers and infants.
The CDC has recently issued guidelines for field and partner organizations regarding how to advise breastfeeding women with probably or confirmed Ebola infection:
“When safe alternatives to breastfeeding and infant care exist, mothers with probable or confirmed Ebola virus disease should not have close contact with their infants (including breastfeeding).
In resource-limited settings, non-breastfed infants are at increased risk of death from starvation and other infectious diseases. These risks must be carefully weighed against the risk of Ebola virus disease.”
The Ebola virus has been detected in the milk of infected women. For mothers who recover from Ebola, it is not known when it is safe to resume breastfeeding. The CDC recommends waiting to resume breastfeeding until milk can be shown to be Ebola-free in laboratory testing.
As the Ebola outbreak continues to evolve, the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine recommends consulting CDC guidance on how to minimize risk for infants of affected mothers.