Many parents have concerns as to whether it’s safe to breastfeed their child while having COVID-19, and many are wondering if it’s safe to do so while vaccinated for it.
When a family member of an infant has COVID-19, the current recommendations are very similar to those we have always suggested for flu: Good handwashing, wearing a mask while caring for the infant, and distancing when able. When it comes to breastfeeding at the breast, it is recommended that this continue as usual if the mother is feeling up to it. Babies sometimes get COVID-19 when family members have it, but fortunately they typically have mild cases, especially when breastfed.
The COVID-19 vaccine is recommended, both in pregnancy and while breastfeeding. There is evidence that the protections of the vaccine extend to the infant as there are antibodies in breastmilk that fight off the infection. These antibodies in breastmilk are higher in the breastmilk of a vaccinated mother than in a mother who has had the COVID-19 infection. Given that, it makes sense to get the vaccine and boosters even if the family has already had the illness.
More information about COVID-19 and breastfeeding: