Moms are making breast milk smoothies to feed kids COVID antibodies
This hot new cow milk alternative is the oldest one known to humans — and it’s trendy for a very specific reason.
California moms concerned for their unvaccinated children’s health have started breastfeeding longer — and incorporating their breast milk into kids’ food, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Sacramento mother Melissa Pennel had stopped breastfeeding her 2-year-old daughter when she learned that COVID-19 vaccine antibodies can be passed on through breast milk. After getting her first vaccine dose while pregnant with her second child, she decided to begin incorporating her pumped breast milk into her tot’s morning oatmeal, cereal and smoothies.
“Part of it is mental and feeling like I have protection over my family,” Pennel told the LA Times. “I think a lot of it is balancing the way we feel about protecting our kids and knowing how much protection is really being offered.”
Others are continuing to breastfeed for longer periods — or, in at least one mom’s case, letting her kids decide when to stop breastfeeding.
One woman is still breastfeeding her 7-year-old daughter — and her 3-year-old son — and plans to let her daughter continue nursing until she feels ready to stop.
“I’ll stop breastfeeding when I start school,” the first-grader told her mom before the pandemic.
Breastfeeding for such a long time has scientifically backed health benefits: A study published this month in the journal Pediatrics found that mothers with COVID-19 antibodies who breastfed for longer periods — 24 months or more — had higher concentrations of the antibodies than mothers who breastfed for shorter periods.
“The stronger effect of COVID-19 vaccination on [human milk] immunoglobulins in lactation periods [greater than] 2 years suggests a need to increase support and health policies that encourage such long breastfeeding periods in times of a pandemic,” wrote study authors. “More studies are needed on how long these antibodies last in [human milk] and on their implication in protecting the breastfeeding population over time.”