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Breastfeeding and COVID-19: Here’s what we know now

Hope and Healing: The UF Health Blog

Many parents wonder if it’s safe to breastfeed their child while having COVID-19, and many wonder if it’s safe to do so while being vaccinated for it.

When a family member of an infant has COVID-19, current recommendations are very similar to those we have always suggested for influenza: proper hand washing, wearing a mask during infant and distancing when possible. When it comes to breastfeeding, it is recommended to continue as usual if the mother feels able. Babies sometimes catch COVID-19 when family members have it, but luckily they usually have mild cases, especially when breastfed.

The COVID-19 vaccine is recommended, both during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. There is evidence that the protections of the vaccine extend to infants because there are antibodies in breast milk that fight infection. These antibodies in breast milk are higher in the breast milk of a vaccinated mother than in a mother who has had the COVID-19 infection. Given this, it makes sense to get the vaccine and booster shots even if the family has had the disease before.

More information on COVID-19 and breastfeeding:

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