Dr. Hank Bernstein explains why it’s safe for breastfeeding mothers to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
Can I Get the COVID-19 Vaccine If I Am Breastfeeding?
Hank Bernstein, MD: I'm Hank Bernstein and I'm speaking on behalf of the Vaccine Education Center and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. The question, “Can I get the COVID-19 vaccine if I am breastfeeding?” In my opinion, the answer is yes. mRNA vaccines are not thought to be a risk for a breastfeeding infant.
Similar to the guidance that we give to pregnant women about the COVID-19 vaccine, there are no data on the safety of the COVID-19 vaccines in lactating people or the effects of the mRNA COVID vaccines on the breastfed infant or milk production by the mom. A lactating person is one who’s part of a group recommended to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, and really should strongly consider breast milk. Why? Because breast milk is the ideal nutrition for infants exclusively in the first six months of life, and then complimentary to the first year. And that's recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and other breastfeeding organizations.
You should also remember that after the spike protein piece is made, the cell quickly breaks down the mRNA instructions and takes it out of the body quickly and harmlessly. So, there's no biologic reason for mom not to breastfeed after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.
Related Centers and Programs: Vaccine Education Center
Last Reviewed on Mar 16, 2021