Vaccinated mothers share breast milk to help spread COVID-19 antibodies to babies: report

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Some U.S. mothers vaccinated against the coronavirus are sharing their breast milk as research shows it could help spread antibodies to babies.

Mothers who have extra breast milk are donating it to friends and some are trying relactation, getting milk to flow again after breastfeeding has stopped, in order to give COVID-19 antibodies to babies and small children who aren’t eligible for the vaccine, The New York Times reported Thursday. The paper said online forums focused on relactation have in recent weeks been swarmed by newly vaccinated mothers.

Studies have shown that breast milk from mothers who have been vaccinated does contain coronavirus antibodies, but it is unclear how effective it is in protecting children and babies from the virus.

Experts believe that the longer the baby has breast milk from a vaccinated mother, the longer they would be protected; however, there isn’t enough research to support the hypothesis, according to the Times.

Researchers told the Times that although there is not enough research about how the coronavirus vaccine affects breast milk, there is enough on how vaccines affect it generally that there is no reason to believe it is unsafe.

“There is no reason to think there is anything about this vaccine that would cause it to be harmful, and there’s reason to believe it would be beneficial,” said Christina Chambers, co-director of the Center for Better Beginnings at the University of California, San Diego.

Vaccines are open to all adults in a growing number of states across the country, but research is still being conducted on the vaccines before children will be allowed to get their shots. 

Pfizer and BioNTech announced last week that their coronavirus vaccine had been shown to be 100 percent effective in children ages 12 to 15, and Moderna is currently testing its vaccine on children between the ages of six months and 12 years in the U.S. and Canada

Tags breast milk Breastfeeding coronavirus vaccine COVID-19 vaccine Lactation Moderna Pfizer The New York Times

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