Mommy’s Milk Receives Donated Supplies for COVID-19 Breastfeeding Study

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, our Mommy’s Milk program launched a study to confirm early findings that the virus is not present in milk, and to determine if and when maternal antibodies to the virus can be found in breast milk. “We’re collecting and analyzing a larger number of samples than have been reported in the scientific literature to date. Hopefully, the results of our study can be used to provide reassurance to women that breastfeeding with COVID-19 infection doesn’t pose a risk to the infant, and will also help us learn whether antibodies may be passed along that could protect the infant from infection,” said lead investigator and Mommy’s Milk director Dr. Tina Chambers.

Recognizing the urgent need for research in this area, Medela, a company best known for the advancement of breast milk technology, has announced that they will be donating breast milk pumps and milk storage bags to support our study efforts. “Since the beginning of this crisis, moms around the world have reached out to us for guidance and answers around COVID-19 and breastfeeding,” said Annette Brüls, CEO of Medela. “We fully agree with UNICEF that breast milk is the best nutrition for infants, especially in times like these. It is well known that breast milk provides dynamic immunologic protection. Therefore, we are excited to support such research projects to gain in-depth understanding of the natural defense mechanisms through breast milk and the presence of antibodies in it.”

The supplies will be used to capture milk samples from breastfeeding women across the U.S and Canada with known or suspected COVID-19 infection. “The pandemic came on so quickly that we had to launch the study without an identified funding source to support all of the research activities. Thanks to the generosity of Medela, the supplies that we need to obtain the breast milk samples are one less expense that we’ll have to worry about,” added Chambers.

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About Mommy’s Milk: Mommy’s Milk is a human milk biorepository that is dedicated to research, with the goal of establishing a clinical database of breast milk samples that can be used to help us better understand the relationship between human milk and infant and child health and development. The Mommy’s Milk COVID-19 Breastfeeding Study is collaborating with other UC San Diego School of Medicine research partners, including the Larsson-Rosenquist Foundation Mother-Milk-Infant Center of Research Excellence (led by Dr. Lars Bode).

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