Covid Vaccine and Breastfeeding

I have been inundated with questions about the vaccine against Covid 19 and breastfeeding. Initially the recommendation was that it shouldnt be given until a mother had stopped breastfeeding (which caused consternation in the front line workers who needed it so badly to protect themselves and their families as well as patients ). This was revised by the MHRA and JCI once the first urgency of licensing the vaccines was past.

The information is that either the Pfizer/BioNtech or Astra Zenica/Oxford vaccines can be administered to a breastfeeding mother. I wrote this update for BfN which contains links to all the other information including InfantRisk

However, there are still queries from mothers who have been unsettled by poor information circulating on social media. I hope to allay these fears but ultimately the decision which you make is that which feels right for you.

  1. No there havent been any studies on the transfer through milk to babies but one is currently being undertaken by Imperial College using the milk of mothers before and after vaccination.
  2. It is not possible to interrupt breastfeeding for a period to minimise the transfer of milk. Vaccines do not have a half life like drugs.
  3. We have no reason to believe that the COVID-19 vaccine transfers into milk any more than any other vaccine which we use. What transfers are antibodies which the mother has made. We look forward to hearing whether these offer any protection to the baby. We know that antibodies after the mother has had COVID do transfer and protect.

I hope that this helps to answer some of the frequently asked questions and that all those having the vaccine stay safe and well as they work so hard to protect and treat the rest of us.

Heart emojis meaning: A guide to using the symbols and when to use them
Thank you NHS

https://www.breastfeedingnetwork.org.uk/coronavirus/

Breastfeeding after CT and MRI scans

Virtually every day I get messages from mothers and health visitors querying whether mothers can continue to breastfeed after CT and MRI scans. I was told that the national guidelines had been updated some years ago to align with RANZR guidelines . Sadly this doesnt seem to have been adopted by all radiology departments from my experience.

I was lucky enough to work with Dr Gabrielle Cronin on this paper which was published recently in the Irish BMK https://rb.gy/opvtzx

Most mothers are advised to stop breastfeeding for 24 hours but there is no evidence for this as most contrast media are not orally bio available and have half lives which do not justify this duration.

More information

https://www.breastfeedingnetwork.org.uk/ct/ https://www.breastfeedingnetwork.org.uk/mri/

RANZR guidelines

ADHD and Breastfeeding

I have shared the chapter on ADHD from my book Breastfeeding and Chronic Medical Conditions multiple times this week. Many mothers seem to be diagnosed in later life and are concerned about breastfeeding. Hope this is a useful link.

More information Breastfeeding and ADHD factsheet

If this is useful maybe you need the book available on Amazon. I published on Kindle to try to make this more affordable and available to mothers and breastfeeding supporters as well as professionals

Fibromyalgia and Breastfeeding

Fibromyalgia is incredibly difficult to deal with when you have a baby. The most effective intervention is CBT. Please read this factsheet which is a chapter from my book Breastfeeding and chronic medical conditions available on amazon.

Breastfeeding and Fibromyalgis factsheet

Mirtazapine and Breastfeeding

With the developing COVID situation more mothers are struggling to sleep and being prescribed mirtazapine for anxiety and depression associated with poor sleep. This is the information I used in Breastfeeding and Medication.

For more information Mirtazapine and Breastfeeding Factsheet

or maybe buy the book

ADHD and Breastfeeding

Currently there seem to be many questions about treatment of ADHD and breastfeeding. I’m sharing the chapter from my book Breastfeeding and Chronic Medical Conditions which I hope helps

For more information :

Breastfeeding and ADHD factsheet

and maybe you would like to but the book available on Amazon

Depression and breastfeeding

The rise in the statistics on COVID seems to be exacerbating symptoms of depression for many, many people. I can totally identify with that because I am immunocompromised myself due to medication and have very much gone back into Shield mode.

Many of the queries I have had in the last week relate to mothers who need to begin, increase or change their antidepressant medication but are being advised to stop breastfeeding to do so. There is evidence that stopping breastfeeding in itself lowers mood – you have a baby who wants to be breastfed and is fighting the change, you loose oxytocin, you become engorged – it isnt as easy as “stop now” might sound.

This is the chapter on depression from my new book Breastfeeding and chronic medical conditions. I hope the chapter helps in itself but maybe you would like to buy it and learn more about how drugs get into milk.

I will of course answer any queries you have wendy@breastfeeding-and-medication.co.uk

More information: depression and breastfeeding factsheet

Breastfeeding and Chronic medical conditions

I’m very proud to announce the arrival of book 5 “Breastfeeding and Chronic Medical Conditions”. It is an accumulation of the knowledge which I have gained over the past 25 years in supporting breastfeeding mothers and answering their questions.

It has been my “brain dump” so that hopefully I can move forward gradually to spending more time with my family than answering questions. The latter has rather taken over my life now. COVID has made me think about my priorities but lockdown gave me the opportunity to write this whilst I was shielding,

I hope that it helps mothers and professionals make risk benefit decisions on how to help mums with chronic conditions manage their lives and breastfeeding.

My book is available in paperback or kindle format on Amazon https://www.amazon.co.uk/Breastfeeding-Chronic-Medical-Conditions-Wendy-ebook/dp/B08HWZRVVT/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=breastfeeding+and+chronic+medical&qid=1600085418&sr=8-1

Bi polar disorder and breastfeeding

This is one section of the new book that I am currently working on and should hopefully be available in kindle format shortly

bipolar disorder and breastfeeding fact sheet

Colonoscopy and Endoscopy in breastfeeding women

I am so very tired of breastfeeding mothers who need colonoscopies and endoscopies being told that they need to interrupt breastfeeding. I am currently trying to engage with the national body to update national guidelines. Interestingly it is the same old story – we dont see breastfeeding women needing these examinations. So how come I do?

This is the evidence that I have put together and am desperate to share with clinicians.

colonoscopy and endoscopy in lactating women factsheet