COVID-19 Vaccine and Nursing Your Baby: What You Should Know

The benefits of human milk during the pandemic

  • A parent’s milk can protect babies against short and long-term illnesses and diseases. Nursed babies have a lower risk of asthma, type 1 diabetes, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). They are less likely to get ear infections and stomach bugs from the protective properties of their parent’s milk.
  • Breastfeeding, chestfeeding, or expressing milk via pumping provides health benefits for the nursing parent, too. It helps the body recover from pregnancy quicker and reduces the parent’s risk of post-partum depression. It also helps protect against breast and ovarian cancer, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure.
  • Parents can nurse babies anytime and anywhere! This provides a great source of comfort during travel or during change in routine. Nursing in public is a legally protected right in Washington state (RCW 49.60.030 and 49.60.215).

Should I get the COVID-19 vaccine if I am nursing or plan to nurse my baby?

Yes! The CDC and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommend that parents who are lactating or pregnant get a COVID-19 vaccine. COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. There’s no need to stop serving your milk if you get vaccinated against COVID-19. The vaccines can’t cause COVID-19 infections in anyone, including the parent and the baby. The vaccines will not change or alter anyone’s DNA, and there is no evidence that the vaccines impact fertility or cause miscarriages. The vaccines were developed based upon decades of scientific research using the most advanced technology in history. This allowed the scientists to develop the global lifesaving vaccines quicker than ever before.

Is it safe to nurse my baby if I have/had COVID-19?

The World Health Organization (WHO) encourages parents with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 illness to start or continue nursing their babies. The CDC also determined the risk for a newborn to get COVID-19 from the nursing parent is low, especially when the parent takes care to prevent the spread of disease (such as by wearing a mask and washing hands).

Where can I learn more?

We recommend talking to your doctor or health care provider for clarity on any specific question and the most up-to-date information on nursing your baby.

More Information

This blog is accurate as of the date of posting. Information changes rapidly, so check the state’s COVID-19 website for the most up-to-date info at You can also sign up to be notified whenever we post new articles.



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