With the coronavirus spreading like wildfire, people are overwhelmed with panic, worry, and fear. The number of people who are affected is increasing every day, and the spread of the deadly virus is only getting worse. The only hope right now is the vaccines that have started to roll out for the public. Senior citizens were given the first preference of the vaccine, and in several states in India, people between the age group of 18-45 years are starting to get their dose. All you have to do is register for it and wait until the government has enough supply.
While the pandemic has developed a sense of fear and dread in all people, mothers with infants and expecting mothers are terrified for not only their health but that of their babies as well. If you’re a mother with a newborn baby, it’s natural for you to want to do everything in your power to keep your little one safe. You are probably afraid and gathering as much information as you can to know how to deal with the pandemic and the vaccine. One of the questions you’re probably wondering about is whether it’s safe for you to receive the COVID vaccine if you’re breastfeeding your little one. Read this article to find out everything you need to know about breastfeeding and the COVID vaccine.
Should You Get Vaccinated If You’re Breastfeeding?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that pregnant women are more likely to be severely affected by the virus than others. Therefore, getting the COVID vaccine could help you combat serious illnesses that come from COVID-19. The CDC recommends pregnant women receive the vaccine to prevent pregnancy complications like preterm birth, illnesses that require hospitalization, and intensive care (1).
Since it’s still all very new, the data for a lot of information about the safety of the COVID vaccine for breastfeeding moms is not extensively known. There is no data that studies vaccinated lactating women to understand the effects the vaccine has on breastfed babies, milk production, or excretion. However, based on how the vaccines work in the body, they are not seen to pose a risk to breastfeeding mothers.
Some reports have shown that lactating mothers who have received the COVID vaccine have developed antibodies in their breast milk. These antibodies are transmitted to newborns and may help protect them. However, further research has to be conducted to understand what kind of protection these antibodies provide to breastfed newborn babies (2).
Scope for Research
Although the novel coronavirus has been a part of our lives for over a year now, there is not enough data to understand the implications the virus and the vaccine have in our system. As of now, the studies that have been conducted to know how the vaccine works suggest that if you’re trying to conceive or are pregnant with a child, you may receive the vaccine (3).
Right now, there is no scientific evidence that suggests that vaccines cause fertility problems. Therefore if you’re trying to conceive, the CDC recommends that you do not have to stop trying after receiving your dose of the vaccine. Like any other vaccine, scientists are yet to figure out further details about the COVID vaccine and update us with information based on evidence and reports.
Meanwhile, all we can do right now is to stay home and stay safe. If you have to step out for emergencies, ensure that you follow all safety protocols like maintaining social distance, avoiding crowds, carrying hand sanitizers, and wearing face masks at all times when you’re outdoors. Do let us know your thoughts in the comments below!