The CDC issued an urgent recommendation last Wednesday for pregnant women and those who have recently given birth to get the COVID-19 vaccine. The CDC now strongly recommends COVID19 vaccination before or during pregnancy.
Women trying or planning to become pregnant and those who are breastfeeding should also be vaccinated, but only 31% of pregnant people have been vaccinated. Teresa Baker, M.D., TTUHSC OB/GYN regional chair, talks with NBCLX about the benefits of vaccination versus the known or potential risks for pregnant individuals.
Similar to other medications, pregnant and/or breastfeeding women have not been widely included in studies to determine how well COVID-19 vaccines work or how safe they are. Based from research on women who chose to take the vaccine, we believe the risks that come with vaccination are low. The risk and benefit of the vaccine should be compared to each mother’s individual risk for getting COVID-19 as well as how well she is expected to tolerate the disease. Each mother and provider should discuss what choice fits their situation best. (Updated 7/13/21)
Even in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, breastfeeding is still safe and highly recommended. Current guidelines from all of the major health organizations, including the World Health Organization, UNICEF, The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, American Academy of Pediatrics, and the CDC, are in agreement that mothers can and should breastfeed their newborns even if they are positive for COVID-19.
Every year my center publishes drugs studies and with information about the transfer of selected drugs into their mothers milk. Take a look at these drugs and see if you might be willing to participate in one of these studies. They are really easy, just collect samples of your milk every few hours, freeze them, and send them back to my laboratories. We pay for overnight mailing.