Vaccines

Vaccines[1]

Many mothers have questions about the compatibility of vaccines and breastfeeding. We encourage families to consult with their healthcare provider for information to help them make an informed decision regarding vaccination. La Leche League does not have a stance on vaccinations, and LLL Leaders cannot advise (or give advice) about the safety or suitability of choices regarding vaccinations.

This post provides information about vaccines a breastfeeding mother may need, and some ways to comfort a baby who has received a vaccination.

Vaccines and for the Breastfeeding Mother

For parents who may need vaccines during the course of the breastfeeding relationship, questions about which vaccines can be administered while maintaining breastfeeding can arise.  According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, “With rare exceptions, maternal immunization does not create any problems for breastfeeding infants[…][2] “

Organizations such as The Infant Risk Center at Texas Tech University Heath Sciences Center[3], MotherToBaby, a service of the Organization of Teratology Information Specialists[4], and The Breastfeeding Network[5] in the United Kingdom can provide information about specific substances and breastfeeding to share with your healthcare provider.

The US based Center for Disease Control (CDC) has issued the guidelines linked here with regards to receiving vaccines while breastfeeding.

The CDC lists no precautions for breastfeeding with the following vaccines:

  • Immune globulins, pooled or hyper-immune
  • Diphtheria-Tetanus
  • Hepatitis B
  • Influenza Inactivated whole virus or subunit
  • Measles
  • Meningococcal meningitis
  • Mumps
  • Polio, inactivated
  • Rubella
  • Varicella[6]
Vaccines for the Breastfed Baby

Many parents wonder about how to provide comfort for their breastfed baby receiving vaccines.  For the breastfed baby, the most comforting place in the world is close to you.  World Health Organization (WHO) recommends the following measures for comforting infants and young children before, during, and after receiving vaccines:

  • Infants and young children should be held by their caregiver
  • Caregivers should be present throughout and after the vaccination procedure
  • Infants should be breastfed during or shortly before the vaccination session, if it is culturally acceptable
  • Distractions such as toys, videos and music are recommended for children under 6 years of age[7]

 

Resources

Our post about Influenza 

September 2013, VOLUME 132 / ISSUE 3 From the American Academy of Pediatrics

Clinical Report, accessed from http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/132/3/e796 on 29 January 2018

[1] LLLI does not offer medical advice and cannot offer an opinion as to whether or not any vaccines are appropriate in your particular circumstances.  The information provided here is provided as a resource to parents wishing to discuss the information with their family health care provider(s).

[2] Sachs, H.C., Committee on Drugs, The Transfer of Drugs and Therapeutics Into Human Breast Milk: An Update on Selected Topics, Pediatrics

[3] https://www.infantrisk.com

[4] https://mothertobaby.org Provides information in both English and Spanish

[5] http://www.breastfeedingnetwork.org.uk/detailed-information/drugs-in-breastmilk/

[6] https://www.cdc.gov/breastfeeding/recommendations/vaccinations.htm, accessed 29 January 2018

[7] http://www.who.int/features/2015/vaccinations-made-friendly/en/, accessed 29 January 2018