Breastfeeding and COVID-19 vaccination. Is it safe?

As a parent of a new baby, you likely have lots of questions and some extra ones because of the pandemic. We all want to do what’s best for our children to keep them healthy and safe. So you might be asking, “Is it safe to get the COVID-19 vaccine when I am breastfeeding?” The answer is…yes! Leading health experts in Canada agree that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and offer pregnant and breastfeeding individuals protection from severe COVID-19 illness.

Baby looking up at camera while breastfeeding. Mom is looking down at baby.

How do we know vaccines are safe? Here are a few facts:

1) The vaccine does not enter your breastmilk.

Studies show that the COVID-19 vaccine is not found in breastmilk after vaccination.

2) What is in your breastmilk following vaccination? Antibodies!

Recent studies show that those who are breastfeeding and have received the COVID-19 vaccine have developed antibodies in their breastmilk. Although we know that it is not the same type of strong, long-lasting protection that comes from being immunized with the vaccine itself, these antibodies may provide some protection for your baby against COVID-19.

3) COVID-19 vaccines do not contain live virus.

There is no live or weakened virus in the vaccine, so it is not possible for the virus to enter your body or your breastmilk through the vaccine. The vaccine teaches your body how to recognize the virus and get prepared in case you ever got COVID-19. It takes a couple of weeks after your second dose for your immune system to make enough germ-fighting cells like antibodies to protect you.

Read here if you would like to know more about how these vaccines work.

So how do I keep my baby safe?

Mom smiling at baby and supporting baby in a sitting position on bed.

The best way to protect your baby, regardless of how you feed your baby, is for you and the other people you live with to get vaccinated. By being vaccinated, you greatly reduce your chance of getting COVID-19 and passing it onto your baby. As well, new research is showing that when vaccinated people get COVID-19, they are much less sick or have no symptoms. Follow public health measures as they continue to play an important role in keeping you and your baby safe.  This includes limiting the number of people your baby sees that don’t live with you. If you are with people who don’t live with you, ask that they wear a mask, wash their hands and keep 6 feet apart.   

Still unsure? That’s okay. It’s a big decision.

As your baby grows, the parenting questions will continue. That’s okay too. 🙂

Connect with us from preconception into the teen years. We would love to hear from you! 

For parenting information or to speak with a Public Health Nurse (every Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) simply call 311 or 905-825-6000.

Posted in Breastfeeding Your Baby, Breastfeeding Your Child, Feeding Your Baby in the First Year, Parenting, Pregnancy, Prenatal Health, Preparing to Breastfeed, Toddlers & Preschoolers, Toddlers & Preschoolers with Special Needs | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

My pregnancy and decision to get the COVID-19 vaccine

Hmmm COVID-19, where should I even start? It’s been a crazy time of change, challenge, growth and a lot of uncertainty, to say the least! I caught up recently with a good friend who’s in the last few weeks of … Continue reading

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Can I have a playdate…I see them at school?

AH! Are we there yet?! It is so tempting to let down our guard with the return of in-person classes, stay-at-home orders being lifted, and the vaccine rollout underway, but we are not there yet. Insert Debbie Downer music. We know that COVID-19 variants of concern are increasing in our community. They can spread more quickly and it is possible they can cause more severe illness. We also have seen that public health measures work to lower COVID-19 case numbers, hospitalizations and deaths. Yes, we are worried about the emotional health of our kids and really want them to participate in social activities. Yet, it’s not the time to let down our guard and open the doors to our homes.

Young daughter mimicking dad both holding pencils to chins in contemplation.
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Posted in Children & Tweens, Keeping Your Child/Tween Safe, Keeping Your Toddler & Preschooler Safe, Parenting, Parenting Your Child/Tween, Parenting Your Toddler & Preschooler, Play, Growth & Development, Toddlers & Preschoolers | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Helping teens and tweens maintain mental well-being throughout the pandemic

The demands of COVID-19 have been difficult for everyone. For teens and tweens, there has also been a fair amount of loss. Beyond missing out on major rites of passage, this past year has also meant the loss of everyday experiences, connection with friends and independence – at precisely the time in their lives when all of it is so important.

As parents, here are a few ways we can help them through this challenging time.

Connect and show empathy

Mom and daughter dancing in kitchen
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Posted in Children & Tweens, Emotional Well-Being & Mental Health for Your Child/Tween, Emotional Well-Being & Mental Health for Your Teen, Healthy Eating for your Teen, Keeping Your Teen Safe, Parenting, Parenting Your Teen, Teen Brain, Teens | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Navigating COVID-19 with your teen

Parenting is tough, period…but during a pandemic, it’s even harder! If you’re living with teens, your parenting skills have likely been stretched a lot lately. Your teen may feel frustrated and disappointed about missed opportunities like milestone celebrations. So how can we support teens who want to test their independence during a very restrictive time?

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Posted in Children & Tweens, Emotional Well-Being & Mental Health for Your Child/Tween, Keeping Your Teen Safe, Parenting, Teen Brain | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments