People who are not pregnant or breastfeeding worry about the safety of vaccines; most people want an answer to this question, but there is an added stress when one is pregnant or is breastfeeding about getting the Covid-19 vaccine. Should Breastfeeding mothers Get Covid-19 Vaccine?
There has been so much speculation about the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine during pregnancy and or while breastfeeding, it does not help that there is limited data for people to go by.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, women who are pregnant, as well as those who are breastfeeding, are at an increased risk of falling severely ill from the Covid-19 viruses.
However, the CDC offers some hope by stating that the Covid-19 vaccine is safe for both nursing and pregnant women, as well as people looking to fall pregnant.
Number of Breastfeeding and Pregnant Mothers Getting the vaccine:
More and more pregnant women continue to receive the Covid-19 vaccine and so far data has shown that it has no negative effects on both mother or their unborn babies.
Furthermore, breastfeeding moms have been shown to have antibodies in their breast milk that could help protect their babies.
According to the Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists, pregnant women and breastfeeding moms are advised to get the Covid-19 vaccines to help prevent it from affecting the unborn baby and causing issues such as premature birth.
As per WHO, Pregnant women are recommended to get the vaccine as the benefits of the vaccine exceeds the potential risks in pregnant women.
What’s more, the vaccines have not shown any significant side effects to both mother and unborn baby.
Findings have shown that both the Pfizer-BioNTech and the Moderna mRNA-1273 do not enter the cells’ nucleus.
As a result, these two vaccines are degraded quite fast and are therefore unlikely to cause any harm to the unborn baby in the case of a pregnant woman.
Covid-19 Vaccine and Breastfeeding Mothers
Should breastfeeding moms get the Covid-19 vaccine? This is a topic of great concern if you are a breastfeeding mom and are concerned about the vaccine passing on to your baby when breastfeeding.
You should know that according to the Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists, there is no plausible way for the vaccine to pass to the baby via breast milk. What is shared are the antibodies through mother’s milk.
Symptoms After Receiving the Vaccine:
Pregnant or breastfeeding mothers may experience similar symptoms to those who are not pregnant or breastfeeding. These include getting a fever, headaches, and muscle aches.
However, the symptoms are not a sign of infection and are merely the immune system gearing up to fight the foreign body.
Furthermore, the symptoms will go away after 24 to 48 hours. However, if the symptoms persist, it is important to seek the help of a doctor.
Findings by the World Health Organization on breastfeeding during the Covid-19 pandemic are quite interesting.
They say that even mothers who have been infected by the virus do not show its presence in breast milk. This, therefore, means that an infected mother cannot transmit the virus to the baby through breast milk.
This also means that breastfeeding moms should continue to breastfeed their babies regardless of whether they are infected by the Covid-19 virus or not.
According to the WHO, breastfeeding mothers who have received the vaccine also pass on the antibodies to their child.
Breastfeeding is after all the best way to ensure a child’s overall good health and survival, with the Delta variant of the Covid-19 virus becoming rampant in many parts of the world.
Getting vaccinated could be the best way for pregnant and breastfeeding moms to secure their future health and the health of their baby.
COVID-19 Can Not be Spread Through Breast Milk:
According to WHO Several studies have shown that COVID-19 has not been detected in breast milk, indicating that breastfeeding is safe.
Natasha Azzopardi Muscat who is the director of the Country Health Policies and Systems at the World Health Organization Europe stated that breastfeeding an infant goes a very long way to preventing infection.
As well as ensuring good health, especially at a time when health services around the world are disrupted and in short supply.
WHO therefore encourages women who are already infected by the Covid-19 virus to continue breastfeeding.
However, they must take the required precautions to keep their babies and those around them safe. These precautions are as follows:
- Wearing a facemask properly covering the mouth and nose when breastfeeding the baby
- Washing their hands for at least 20 seconds before holding their baby and after holding the baby.
- Regularly clean and disinfect surfaces that they have come into contact with.
Note that there is limited data on the effects of the Covid-19 vaccine on both pregnant and breastfeeding women. This is considering how recent the pandemic hit us.
However, every day more and more pregnant and breastfeeding women continue to get the vaccine and the results are highly favorable.
Babies Getting Covid Antibodies from Breast Milk:
The safe transfer of antibodies either through breast milk or through the placenta seems to indicate that the baby would have some level of immunity to the Covid-19 vaccines.
Infants that have been infected by the Covid-19 pandemic have shown different responses.
Some have developed respiratory issues, while others have gotten extremely sick.
Other times, small children can become asymptomatic, which simply means that while they have the virus and are already infected, they do not show symptoms of illness.
Any protection that infants get from their mother\’s milk via breastfeeding is highly important in these times.
Covid-19 Vaccine and Milk Supply:
Breastfeeding mothers may wonder if their milk supply will diminish and thus not have enough milk to feed their baby after receiving the vaccine. CDC reports having limited data on this, as there have been no studies done on the vaccines in breastfeeding people.
However, there has not been any evidence that shows the vaccine affects a mother’s milk supply.
Breastfeeding moms should therefore get the vaccine without any worry that their milk supply will be affected.
Also, while the data is limited on the use of the vaccines on breastfeeding and pregnant women, it is important to note that the vaccine is NOT a live virus.
Because of this fact it is extremely unlikely that the vaccine can cause any serious side effects to the breastfeeding mother or the baby.
Should breastfeeding mothers get the Covid-19 vaccine? When it comes to Covid 19 vaccine and breastfeeding mothers, pregnant and breastfeeding mothers should still do their research on the Covid-19 vaccine before they decide to receive it.
Check the CDC and WHO websites for up-to-date information about the Coronavirus, and also ask your trusted medical professionals to get their input on the vaccine.