Breast Feeding and Covid Vaccine
Corona Virus disease, commonly known as Covid-19 has become an everyday term in our lives these days. It is something that even the kids are aware of since its spread has been worldwide.
While every effort is made by Health Organisations to prevent and lessen its transmission it is very important to take all measures to protect ourselves. And the one way to tackle this, is the vaccination drive, something that isn’t unheard of! The age limit has been now reduced to 18 years from the previous limit of 45 and above. Even the pregnant and nursing mothers are included in this extension. However, there are many hang-ups associated with the vaccine. This blog aims to clarify all those Covid related doubts and give better insight to all our mommies and would-be mommies.
The very first question to be dealt with is, Vaccination during Pregnancy
As per the expert, there is a high probability of pregnant women requiring intensive care unit (ICU) management than non-pregnant females. This doesn’t mean that pregnant women are at a high risk of getting infected. It’s the delicate period of pregnancy that can lead to worsening of symptoms impacting the fetal health as well. The conditions that may lead to ICU care could be severe breathlessness, compromised lung functions, prevalent & pre-existing health issues like diabetes, cardiac ailments, etc. The complications that can arise are neonatal morbidity, preterm birth, and poor baby weight. Since the benefits outweigh the risks of the Covid infection, the Ministry of Health has approved the vaccinations during pregnancy.
When to get vaccinated?
Once the pregnancy is confirmed, a woman can be vaccinated anytime with a prior thorough counseling. If there is a history of Covid infection during pregnancy, then the vaccination should be scheduled soon post-delivery.
Vaccination during Breast-feeding
Many modern medicines are unsafe to be administered during the lactation period. The commonest reason is its excretion in the breast milk thereby increasing the chances of direct exposure to the baby and the possibility of the side/adverse effects. But in the case of Covid, the vaccine that is administered doesn’t have the live virus in it. So the chances of Covid virus transmission to the baby through breast milk is zero. Above and beyond, the antibodies formed in the mother can offer protection to the baby. The vaccination of the mother can also be a further step in building the relative immunity against the virus in her kids.
Impact of the vaccine on the Breastmilk
The Covid vaccine has no impact on the production of breast milk. It has to be noted that there is no need for weaning off pre and post-vaccination schedules.
Breastfeeding during Covid positivity or its symptoms
Ideally, it depends upon the severity of the symptoms if the Covid test is positive. If the symptoms are mild and a mother is in a position to nurse her baby, utmost care must be taken by maintaining the distance, wearing a proper mask, and using adequate sanitization methods and procedures. And if the condition of the mother is not good enough to nurse the baby then secondary options like top-feed, using a breast pump or wet-nursing, human milk donors, etc. can be considered. However, in all cases, the hygiene levels and sterilization process should be carefully studied and adhered to!
It is usual to face some kind of sickness after getting vaccinated. These can range from mild body ache to fever, pain at the injection site and feeling of general sickness. Other symptoms could be pain in the limbs or injection site, difficulty in breathing, headache with/without vomiting, nausea, abdominal discomfort, chest pain, weakness in the limbs, pain in the eyes, etc. These can be persistent until 2-3 weeks and subside in the due course of time.
Vaccine efficacy period
As per the clinical research studies, vaccines can have an effect lasting for over more than 6 months.
Precaution after getting vaccinated
Even after vaccination, it is very essential to adhere to all the necessary precautions like wearing a mask, proper sanitization including frequent hand wash, following social distancing guidelines, and not getting exposed to crowded areas.
So Covid-19 shouldn’t be something to be scared of. A stringent precaution and adherence to the Covid guidelines is all that it calls for!