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.
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?
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.
- Talk to a healthcare provider that you trust.
- Look to our experts like the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada.
- Read credible studies that Pregnancy Pandemic Guide shares on Instagram and Twitter.
- Look through the Frequently Asked Questions section on our webpages.
As your baby grows, the parenting questions will continue. That’s okay too. 🙂
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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.