If you are an anti-vaxxer. You’ve definitely come to the wrong blog post! I suggest moving along. If you are an anti-masker, again, you’ve come to the wrong place! I suggest moving on. If you believe that this pandemic is a hoax.... you guessed it! You have come to the wrong place... move along! Or just skip straight to the end and leave me a nasty comment to just get it over with.
I’m sorry, but the conspiracy theories out there about COVID-19 and the vaccine are just so idiotic. I’m sure that statement is going to get me a lot of hate it the comments but, guess what, don’t care! I often times wonder if people behaved like this back in the day when measles and polio were a global pandemic. Back before vaccines existed and modern medicine wasn’t advanced enough, therefore people were dropping like flies. I bet there wasn’t any anti-vaxxers back then. That lovely brand of people came into existence after awful, deadly diseases became eradicated thanks to...... dun dun dun dunnn VACCINES & modern medicine. Anyways... I went off on a tangent. Back to what I was talking about...
Here in Alberta our front line workers have been offered the covid 19 shot before the general public. In the first wave of the vaccine delivery, intensive care nurses, emergency nurses and home care nurses got offered the shot first. This started at the beginning of January. I received my email to book my covid shot at the end of January in the second wave of nurses who were offered. This wave included all medical and surgical nurses. I fall into the category of pediatric medicine. A chance to protect a super vulnerable population? I’ll take it.
I had been anticipating this email and had previously done a bunch of research about the safety of the vaccine in general, but also about the safety of the vaccine while breast feeding. For me, it was a really tough decision. Especially because the vaccine company cannot recommend the vaccine for pregnant and breast feeding mothers. Pregnant and breast feeding mothers were not included in vaccine trials, therefore data is limited and theoretical risk must be weighed against the established benefits.
This is what research suggests so far...
-Individuals who got pregnant during vaccine trials had no complications from the vaccine
-Pregnant, vaccinated rats did not have any adverse effects on female reproduction, fetal/embryonal development, or postnatal developmental.
-The vaccine mRNA will not reach the baby; it degrades too quickly!
-The vaccine is not “live” or “dead” or anything in between, so you won’t get infected with COVID19 (hey! Just like the flu shot. Contrary to popular belief)
-Antibodies do not attack the placenta
-There is no plausible way how the vaccine would cause harm to a breastfed baby. If anything, it would benefit the baby
-CDC, FDA, ACOG, and ABM all recommend vaccination for pregnant and nursing individuals. Shocker!
In terms of breast feeding there is no plausible biological mechanism for how the vaccine would cause harm to a nursing baby. There has been small studies that COVID19 positive patients DID pass antibodies to their nursed child. Antibody protection is one of the big benefits of breastfed milk. This is WHY we breast feed.
- The CDC and FDA have recommended vaccination for pregnant and nursing individuals.
- American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG): “vaccines should not be withheld from pregnant or lactating individuals who otherwise meet criteria for vaccination.”
- Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine does not recommend stopping nursing for people who get the COVID-19 vaccine.
With all of these in mind - I decided to take the plunge. To protect my infant, my immune compromised toddler, myself, my family and my patients. How amazing would it be to see grandparents again?! I booked my vaccine for a lovely Wednesday afternoon. My toddler was at school and my hubby was working.
I pulled up to the warehouse to find a huge line up. Great! I got to stand outside in the middle of a polar vortex with my 8 month old. Now before you shame me for bringing my infant with me, if you’ve exclusively breast fed you will understand why she had to come along! To my surprise the line moved pretty fast and we got inside to the warmth. Once inside the warehouse I switched out my cloth mask for a medical mask and spent 45 minutes in a MASSIVE socially distanced line. I wish I could of taken a picture. It’s such a neat feeling to be a part of history. Sometimes I still can’t believe all of this is happening. It feels like we are in a movie. I went through all of the covid screening questions and finally got called to get my vaccine. Ah! I was so excited! Finally, we will be able to start getting back to life before COVID. I took my seat at the nursing station and the nurse informed me of the risks, the benefits, the potential side effects and obtained my consent to give the vaccine. It was over before I even knew it began. It didn’t hurt and it was probably the quickest shot I’ve ever had. I sat down to wait my 15 minutes post immunization and guess what I did.... I FED MY BABY! Gasp. No immediate side effects for myself or for my baby.
As the days progressed I unfortunately cannot report that I’ve grown any extra limbs, received better wifi, found a micro chip, or gained any super cool powers. I did however have mild discomfort in my arm (muscular pain), a moderate headache for about 15 hours on and off and chills one evening for a few hours. It was short lived. Nothing that I couldn’t manage. I took a few Advil and was good to go. My daughter continued breast feeding without any side effects at all.
I am scheduled to receive my second dose in the next few weeks and I don’t regret my decision for a minute. I urge you to do your own research if you are nursing or pregnant and most importantly discuss you decision with your doctor. This blog post should not be taken as medical advice.
Please drop me a comment below on your RESPECTFUL thoughts on the subject.