Breastfeeding and COVID – 19

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Breastfeeding and COVID – 19

Breastfeeding Committee for Canada recommends breastfeeding women/persons can be
offered a COVID-19 mRNA vaccine series as the benefits of vaccination outweigh the risks.
The COVID-19 mRNA vaccine series has a 95% efficacy for preventing serious disease for the
adult population and common side effects are mild.

Breastfeeding women/persons should not stop breastfeeding after vaccination. Continuing to
breastfeed is important to protect an unvaccinated infant against respiratory, gastrointestinal
infections and other illnesses. Emerging research shows that lactating women/persons have
antibodies in their milk after being vaccinated with COVID-19 mRNA vaccine. Experts do not
expect the vaccine to be harmful to the infant as the COVID-19 mRNA vaccine does not enter
the nucleus of the cell and is not a live vaccine.

Because breastfeeding women/persons were not included in the initial clinical trials for the
mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, health care providers should use shared decision-making when
discussing vaccination. The discussion should include information on the protection conferred
to women/persons by vaccination and to infants by continued breastfeeding. At the same time,
it should address the lack of current evidence from clinical trials and emerging research that
includes breastfeeding women/persons and their breastmilk.
More research is needed to further inform recommendations.

Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine, Dec 14, 2020. ABM STATEMENT. Considerations for
COVID-19 Vaccination in Lactation. (Retrieved on May 20, 2021).

Bachrach, V. R., Schwarz, E., & Bachrach, L. R. (2003). Breastfeeding and the risk of
hospitalization for respiratory disease in infancy: a meta-analysis. Arch Pediatr Adolesc
Med, 157(3), 237-243.

Centers for Disease Prevention and Control, May 14, 2021. COVID-19 Vaccines While Pregnant
or Breastfeeding. (Retrieved on May 20, 2021).

Christensen, N., Bruun, S., Sondergaard, J., Christesen, H. T., Fisker, N., Zachariassen, G., . . .
Husby, S. (2020). Breastfeeding and Infections in Early Childhood: A Cohort Study.
Pediatrics, 146(5).

CIUSSS du Centre-Ouest-de-l'Île-de-Montréal, May 13, 2021. Vaccination: your questions & our
answers (public & employees). (Retrieved on May 20, 2021).

Collier, A. Y., McMahan, K., Yu, J., Tostanoski, L. H., Aguayo, R., Ansel, J., . . . Barouch, D. H.
(2021). Immunogenicity of COVID-19 mRNA Vaccines in Pregnant and Lactating Women.

Di Mascio, D., Buca, D., Berghella, V., Khalil, A., Rizzo, G., Odibo, A., . . . D'Antonio, F. (2021).
Counseling in maternal-fetal medicine: SARS-CoV-2 infection in pregnancy. Ultrasound
Obstet Gynecol, 57(5), 687-697.

Gray, K.J., Bordt. E.A., Atyeo, C.,…Edlow, A.G. (2021). Coronavirus disease 2019 vaccine
response in pregnant and lactating women: a cohort study. AJOG

Haiek, L. N., LeDrew, M., Charette, C., & Bartick, M. (2021). Shared decision-making for infant
feeding and care during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. Matern Child Nutr,
17(2), e13129.

Kelly, J. C., Carter, E. B., Raghuraman, N., Nolan, L. S., Gong, Q., Lewis, A. N., & Good, M. (2021).
Anti-severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 antibodies induced in breast milk
after Pfizer-BioNTech/BNT162b2 vaccination. Am J Obstet Gynecol.

MotherToBaby, April 22, 2021. What You Need to Know About COVID-19 and COVID-19
Vaccines. (Retrieved on May 20, 2021).

National Advisory Committee on Immunization, May 28, 2021. An Advisory Committee
Statement (ACS) National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI)
Recommendations on the use of COVID-19 Vaccines. (Retrieved on May 31, 2021).

Perl, S. H., Uzan-Yulzari, A., Klainer, H., Asiskovich, L., Youngster, M., Rinott, E., & Youngster, I.
(2021). SARS-CoV-2-Specific Antibodies in Breast Milk After COVID-19 Vaccination of
Breastfeeding Women. JAMA, 325(19), 2013-2014.

Public Health Agency of Canada, May 17, 2021. Vaccines for COVID-19: How to get vaccinated
or register. (Retrieved on May 20, 2021).

Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada, May 4, 2021. SOGC Statement on COVID-19 Vaccination in Pregnancy. (Retrieved on May 20, 2021).

Talayero, P., Lizán-García, M., Otero Puime, A., Benlloch Muncharaz, M. J., Beseler Soto, B.,
Sánchez-Palomares, M., . . . Rivera, L. L. (2006). Full breastfeeding and hospitalization as
a result of infections in the first year of life. Pediatrics, 118(1), e92-99.

Victora, C. G., Bahl, R., Barros, A. J. D., França, G. V. A., Horton, S., Krasevec, J., . . . Rollins, N. C.
(2016). Breastfeeding in the 21st century: epidemiology, mechanisms, and lifelong
effect. The Lancet, 387(10017), 475-490.

World Health Organization. Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine: What you need to know. April
20, 2021. (Retrieved on May 20, 2021

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