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.
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