Quick Dose: Is It Safe to Get the COVID-19 Vaccine While Breastfeeding?
Published August 2021
Experts Weigh In
Breastfeeding has great benefits for parents and babies.
Now, with the development of the COVID-19 vaccine, breastfeeding can even help deliver antibodies through breast milk to protect baby from COVID-19.
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, people who are pregnant or breastfeeding should get vaccinated against COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that no data suggests the COVID-19 vaccines are unsafe for people who are pregnant or breastfeeding or for their babies.
When you breastfeed, you pass your immunity through antibodies to your baby. You do not pass the virus. COVID-19 is passed through respiratory droplets, not breast milk. This is why it is safe for people with active COVID-19 infections or who have had COVID-19 in the past to breastfeed their children, provided that the person feels well enough to do it. If you have an active infection, it is recommended that you wash your hands before breastfeeding and wear a mask while feeding to avoid passing the virus to your baby.
The same principles apply for all vaccinations, including the flu vaccine. Plus, getting vaccinated is a great way to protect other family members or people in your household.Jessica W. Kiley, MD, chief of the Division of General Obstetrics and Gynecology and medical director of Postpartum Unit, Northwestern Memorial Hospital