There are currently no known serious risks (such as an increased risk of miscarriage or possible birth defects) when getting a COVID-19 vaccine while pregnant or breastfeeding (or providing expressed human milk) to either the person being vaccinated or the child. There is no need to change your breastfeeding routine or plan if you get a COVID-19 vaccine.There are many benefits to getting a COVID-19 vaccine while you are pregnant or breastfeeding
Currently available COVID-19 vaccines are very effective in preventing people from severe COVID-19 disease.
- Being vaccinated can help protect you from severe COVID-19 disease and reduce the risk of spreading it to others.
- The vaccine helps your body produce antibodies that will protect you from severe COVID-19 disease if you are exposed to COVID-19. These protective antibodies pass into your milk and may also protect your baby from infection.
- Other vaccines are safely given in pregnancy or during breastfeeding, including tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis and influenza vaccines.
- The COVID-19 vaccines are safe, have no live virus and cannot cause COVID-19.
- Pregnant people who have had two or more COVID-19 vaccines are at much lower risk of hospital or ICU admission, preterm birth, and infant NICU admission for COVID-19 compared to those who have not been vaccinated.
- If you are pregnant and you have diabetes, asthma, high blood pressure, kidney, liver, lung or heart disease, are very overweight or are a smoker, you are even more likely to develop serious illness from COVID-19.
There are no known risks to getting a COVID-19 vaccine while you are pregnant or breastfeeding
The US Center for Disease Control shared evidence from studies on the safety of receiving an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy. They did not find any safety concerns for pregnant people who were vaccinated or their babies.
Another report looked at pregnant people enrolled in a study who were vaccinated before 20 weeks of pregnancy. There was no increased risk for miscarriage among people who received an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy.
Mild to moderate side effects are common after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine and include:
- Pain, redness or swelling at the injection site
- Fever, which in pregnancy or when breastfeeding can be managed safely by taking acetaminophen(e.g., Tylenol®)
Not everyone uses the term breastfeeding to describe their feeding
experience and may prefer to use other terms such as nursing or chestfeeding. You can use whichever terms you’re most comfortable with, and you can ask that your friends, family and health-care providers use them, too.