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COVID-19 Vaccines for Pregnant and Breastfeeding Moms

For many moms, there is no question that they should get vaccinated and protected with a COVID-19 vaccine if they are pregnant or breastfeeding, even if formal studies in these groups of women aren’t completed yet.

Will breastfed children get any benefits if their mom gets vaccinated and protected against COVID-19?
Will breastfed children get any benefits if their mom gets vaccinated and protected against COVID-19?

As these moms want to protect themselves, their babies, and everyone around them.

COVID-19 Vaccines for Pregnant and Breastfeeding Moms

That’s likely why at least 514 pregnant women were among the first to be vaccinated!

Many pregnant women are already getting vaccinated and protected against COVID-19.
Many pregnant women are already getting vaccinated and protected against COVID-19.

And why there are recommendations from the CDC and ACOG that they can get a COVID-19 vaccine, if they choose to be vaccinated.

ACIP recommendations (Interim Clinical Considerations for Use of mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines Currently Authorized in the United States) state that:

  • If pregnant people are part of a group that is recommended to receive a COVID-19 vaccine (e.g., healthcare personnel), they may choose to be vaccinated.
  • A lactating person who is part of a group recommended to receive a COVID-19 vaccine (e.g., healthcare personnel) may choose to be vaccinated.

Similarly, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has issued a practice advisory, Vaccinating Pregnant and Lactating Patients Against COVID-19, in which they recommend that:

  • COVID-19 vaccines should not be withheld from pregnant individuals who meet criteria for vaccination based on ACIP-recommended priority groups.
  • COVID-19 vaccines should be offered to lactating individuals similar to non-lactating individuals when they meet criteria for receipt of the vaccine based on prioritization groups outlined by the ACIP.

The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine has also issued a statement, Considerations for COVID-19 Vaccination in Lactation in which they don’t recommend that anyone stop breastfeeding if they get vaccinated against COVID-19 because:

“During lactation, it is unlikely that the vaccine lipid would enter the blood stream and reach breast tissue. If it does, it is even less likely that either the intact nanoparticle or mRNA transfer into milk. In the unlikely event that mRNA is present in milk, it would be expected to be digested by the child and would be unlikely to have any biological effects.”

Considerations for COVID-19 Vaccination in Lactation

The Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine also “strongly recommends that pregnant and lactating people have access to the COVID-19 vaccines and that they engage in a discussion about potential benefits and unknown risks with their healthcare providers regarding receipt of the vaccine.”

As does the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), whose “Task Force does not recommend withholding the vaccine from patients who are planning to conceive, who are currently pregnant, or who are lactating.”

At first, COVID-19 vaccines will only be available to pregnant and breastfeeding moms who are part of another group that is recommended to receive a COVID-19 vaccine (e.g., healthcare personnel).
At first, COVID-19 vaccines will only be available to pregnant and breastfeeding moms who are part of another group that is recommended to receive a COVID-19 vaccine (e.g., healthcare personnel).

Still not sure if the benefits of getting vaccinated outweigh the risks if you are pregnant or breastfeeding?

A decision aid tool created for use by pregnant people (and people planning to become pregnant) who are considering whether to get the COVID-19 vaccine, as well as their healthcare providers, friends, and family.
A decision aid tool created for use by pregnant people (and people planning to become pregnant) who are considering whether to get the COVID-19 vaccine, as well as their healthcare providers, friends, and family.

Check out this decision aid tool from the Shared Decision-Making: COVID Vaccination in Pregnancy working group at the University of Massachusetts Medical School–Baystate if you are still unsure if getting vaccinated is right for you and your family.

And know that there is plenty of information available already to help you make an informed decision.

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