Watch breastfeeding professionals lie about coronavirus and babies

Woman with long nose. Liar concept.

Lactation professionals lie and babies die!

Now they’re lying about coronavirus and babies, providing reassurance that may not merely be false; it may be deadly.

NO ONE KNOWS whether it is safe for an infected mother to breastfeed her baby!

Why do lactation professionals lie? Because they’ve forgotten about their ethical responsibilities. They are so obsessed with protecting breastfeeding they have forgotten they’re supposed to be protecting BABIES.

The result: while breastfeeding rates at hospital discharge have risen dramatically, the purported benefits have never been seen and the risks of brain injury and death have risen dramatically.

Lactation professionals are lying if they claim breastfeeding with coronavirus is safe. No one knows!

Lactation professionals have lied for decades:

– Breastfeeding saves lives? There is zero evidence that breastfeeding saves lives in industrialized countries; there are only mathematical models that have never been validated.

– Breastfeeding prevents serious illness? No, breastfeeding reduces the risk of colds and episodes of diarrheal illness, but every other claim has been debunked or is based on weak evidence that isn’t corrected for confounding variables.

– Breastfeeding saves healthcare dollars? No, breastfeeding has become the leading cause of newborn re-hospitalization at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars each year.

Most egregiously, lactation professionals lie about the risks of breastfeeding and that’s why babies have died:

– Insufficient breastmilk is rare? No, it’s common, especially in the early days after birth, affecting up to a third of first time mothers.

– Severe newborn dehydration is rare? No, the rate for babies of first time mothers is 223 per 100,000 births. That sounds small until you consider that it’s DOUBLE the rate of sudden unexpected infant death (SUID).

– Jaundice is nothing to worry about? Over 90% of cases of kernicterus (severe jaundice causing brain injury) occurs in exclusively breastfed infants.

– Newborn stomach size is only 5 ml? No, it’s 4X higher.

– Formula ruins the breastfeeding relationship? No, early judicious formula supplementation prevents complications and INCREASES the odds of extended breastfeeding.

Now lactation professionals are lying about breastfeeding and coronavirus and their arrogance may kill babies yet again.

NO ONE KNOWS whether it is safe for a woman to breastfeed if she is infected with coronavirus.

Let me say it again: NO ONE KNOWS!

NO ONE KNOWS whether coronavirus can be transmitted through breastmilk. While the existing evidence is reassuring it is also paltry. There are too few cases to draw any conclusions.

NO ONE KNOWS the risk of a nursing mother transferring coronavirus to her infant through respiratory droplets. It’s almost certainly quite high.

NO ONE KNOWS the risk to the baby of coronavirus itself. The Chinese experience was that the disease was mostly confined to older people, but the European and American experience has shown that coronavirus can and does sicken young people.

NO ONE KNOWS whether women who are infected will have antibodies to coronavirus in their breastmilk. It’s certainly possible, since the antibodies that are most likely to pass in breastmilk, IgA, can include antibodies to respiratory illnesses. But the bulk of antibodies produced by mothers in most diseases (IgG and IgM) don’t pass to infants through breastmilk.

What should we advise women about coronavirus and breastfeeding? No one knows and any lactation professional who tells you differently is not being honest.

When no one knows, the ethical obligation of medical professionals is to lay out the risks and benefits HONESTLY. Providing false reassurance is UNETHICAL.

When no one knows, medical professionals are forced to create protocols to prevent worse case scenarios (baby getting profoundly ill from coronavirus) because the opposite, letting babies get hurt, is UNETHICAL.

When no one knows, MOTHERS should be allowed to choose once they have been honestly informed of the risks and benefits.

It is possible that breastfeeding is the very best thing that an infected mother could do for her baby, but it is also possible that it is the very worst. NO ONE KNOWS!

And until we do know, breastfeeding professionals who offer false reassurance are lying and babies may die as a result.