Is the Covid 19 Vaccine Safe to Take While Breastfeeding/Chestfeeding? — SDBFC
Information about Is the Covid 19 Vaccine Safe to Take While Breastfeeding/Chestfeeding? — SDBFC
Let me start off by saying that I don’t want this to turn into a vax/anti-vax conversation. Whether you choose to vaccinate yourself and your family is a completely personal decision and one that is really none of our business.
That being said, many of our clients have reached out to us this week to ask if the covid vaccine is safe for them to get while breastfeeding/chestfeeding. Our goal is to share the most recent information about the vaccine, provided by medical professionals, so that you and your family can make an educated decision on what you would like to do.
So, what do we know about this vaccine, with reference to lactating parents?
Honestly, not much.
Since this vaccine is so new (and fast-tracked with limited clinical trials), it has not been tested on pregnant or lactating parents.
According to Mother to Baby CA, the Covid vaccine is an mRNA vaccine, which means that it doesn’t contain the live virus. ‘The mRNA vaccine works by telling cells in the body to create harmless fragments (small pieces) of the virus that causes COVID-19. These fragments cannot cause COVID-19. However, they trigger an immune response in the body that helps make antibodies against the virus.’
According to the CDC, ‘There are no data on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines in lactating women or on the effects of mRNA vaccines on the breastfed infant or on milk production/excretion. mRNA vaccines are not thought to be a risk to the breastfeeding infant. People who are breastfeeding and are part of a group recommended to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, such as healthcare personnel, may choose to be vaccinated.’
According to the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine, ‘there is little biological plausibility that the vaccine will cause harm, and antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 in milk may protect the breastfeeding child…. During lactation, it is unlikely that the vaccine lipid would enter the blood stream and reach breast tissue. If it does, it is even less likely that either the intact nanoparticle or mRNA transfer into milk. In the unlikely event that mRNA is present in milk, it would be expected to be digested by the child and would be unlikely to have any biological effects.’ They go on to say that,’Antibodies and T-cells stimulated by the vaccine may passively transfer into milk. Following vaccination against other viruses, IgA antibodies are detectable in milk within 5 to 7 days. Antibodies transferred into milk may therefore protect the infant from infection with SARS-CoV-2.’
So, with this lack of specific research on the Covid 19 vaccine, it is recommended that you speak with your healthcare provider to go over the pros/cons of taking the vaccine while breastfeeding/chestfeeding, based on your risk of possible exposure to the virus, your health history, and your child’s health history.
And, please continue to follow the CDC guidelines for preventing the spread of covid:
Wear a mask
Stay at least 6 feet away from others
Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or using hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
Stay safe! We will update our website with information as it becomes available.