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A flood of information about COVID-19, breastfeeding, and human milk is distributed to communities and practitioners around the world. While not all information is legitimate, and some messages are misleading, it is important to collect the myths and misconceptions in order to debunk them and provide up-to-date, accurate information that reflects the best practices for infant feeding based on the evidence.
As researchers rush to better understand the virus and how it is transmitted, translating research into actionable guidance for health care workers is imperative. The COVID-19 Infant Feeding Research Interest Group (CIF-RIG) encompasses an informal multidisciplinary collaboration of international experts from around the world focused on the identification of research needs and what emerging and current research tells us about safe infant feeding practices during this pandemic. The CIF-RIG focuses on four key objectives to 1) harmonize the state of the science and best practices with regard to current approaches to study the biology and impact of the virus, 2) identify priority research questions, 3) collect, collate and share extant and evolving data on the virus and its implications, and 4) support efforts to develop useful and clear messages targeting improved public health and evidence-informed standards of care.
The COVID-19 Infant Feeding Working Group (CIF-WG) implements specific projects to support these four key objectives, such as supporting the development of useful and clear messages targeting improved public health and evidence-informed standards of care for safe and efficacious infant feeding practices in the context of the pandemic.
As part of this effort, we are conducting a survey to capture breastfeeding beliefs and fears related to COVID-19. With these findings, we plan to develop an informational brief to address common beliefs and myths in the space of infant feeding focused on breastfeeding and COVID-19.