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Pregnant and lactating women with COVID-19: Scant clinical research

May 18, 2020

New Rochelle, NY, May 18, 2020--Pregnant and breastfeeding women have been excluded from clinical trials of drugs to treat COVID-19, and as result, there is no safety data to inform clinical decisions. Such drugs include remdesivir according to a new article in the peer-reviewed journal Breastfeeding Medicine. Click here to read the article.

Since pregnant and lactating women are not included in clinical trials, little is known about whether the drug transfers into breast milk and reaches the infant's circulation.

The lack of such data complicates a decision between giving lactating women a potentially life-saving drug and having them stop breastfeeding or risking any potential adverse effects of the drug on the infant, writes Alison Stuebe, MD, University of North Carolina School of Medicine and President of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine.

Suspending breastfeeding in mothers infected with COVID-19 could be detrimental because the infant is missing out on critical nutrients in human milk. Additionally, antibodies acquired from the mother may protect the infant against acquiring COVID-19.

"This quandary illustrates the consequences of longstanding policies to exclude pregnant and lactating women from clinical trials," Stuebe says. "Rather than excluding pregnant and lactating women from research, we must protect them through research."

Arthur I. Eidelman, MD, Editor-in-Chief of Breastfeeding Medicine, states: "Pregnant and breastfeeding women and their fetuses and infants cannot continue to be administrative orphans regarding new drug trials, and this situation warrants immediate correction."
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About the Journal

Breastfeeding Medicine the official journal of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine, is an authoritative, peer-reviewed, multidisciplinary journal published 12 times per year in print and online. The Journal publishes original scientific papers, reviews, and case studies on a broad spectrum of topics in lactation medicine. It presents evidence-based research advances and explores the immediate and long-term outcomes of breastfeeding, including the epidemiologic, physiologic, and psychological benefits of breastfeeding. Tables of content and a sample issue may be viewed on the Breastfeeding Medicine website.

About the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine

The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine (ABM) (is a worldwide organization of medical doctors dedicated to the promotion, protection, and support of breastfeeding. Our mission is to unite members of the various medical specialties with this common purpose. For more than 20 years, ABM has been bringing doctors together to provide evidence-based solutions to the challenges facing breastfeeding across the globe. A vast body of research has demonstrated significant nutritional, physiological, and psychological benefits for both mothers and children that last well beyond infancy. But while breastfeeding is the foundation of a lifetime of health and well-being, clinical practice lags behind scientific evidence. By building on our legacy of research into this field and sharing it with the broader medical community, we can overcome barriers, influence health policies, and change behaviors.

About the Publisher

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers is known for establishing authoritative peer-reviewed journals in many promising areas of science and biomedical research. A complete list of the firm's 90 journals, books, and newsmagazines is available on the Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publisher's website.

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News

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