Pregnant, Breastfeeding, and Vaccinated by Moderna
How did “are you vaccinated” come to mean one thing? Am I vaccinated for COVID-19? Yes, I did get vaccinated at 39 weeks on March 23, 2021, because it became available in California for pregnant women. I was inspired to write this by YOU! So many of you wrote on my Instagram asking me about getting the first dose of Moderna while pregnant, and the second dose while breastfeeding. As a close friend vaccinated at 6 months pregnant inspired me, I decided to share my experience here too. I know this can be a very difficult choice for anyone pregnant right now, so I’ll continue to update this article with studies as they become available.
UPDATE! The CDC updated its guidelines to strongly urge pregnant people to get vaccinated. New research shows no risk of a miscarriage, but those pregnant still face a serious risk of contracting a COVID infection.
For anyone reading this, the first person you should turn to and talk to is your doctor. I had my concerns, including possibly getting sick while breastfeeding as my second shot was scheduled for when my baby was 3 weeks old (see par. Breastfeeding). Concerns that I raised directly with my OBGYN. Preliminary data by the CDC confirms that pregnant people develop a robust immune response to COVID-19 mRNA vaccination without, so far, seeing any adverse events to the mom or the fetus. The more information the CDC has the better and information submitted by pregnant women to the CDC via V-Safe after vaccination health checker from December 14, 2020, to February 28, 2021, showed the same conclusive evidence. Do keep an eye on their updates and contribute if you can.
Of course, there are many concerns from us mother’s on whether the vaccine is safe for our babies, but, especially here in the US, the vaccination has become an intensely divisive issue. Everyone has their fears, and I cannot list and discuss every single one, but I can say that I understand fear. COVID-19 left us all with traumas from staying indoors in isolation because the disease is contracted by meeting others. Insane! As things slowly started to open up I couldn’t help but be hypersensitive to the heightened sense of risk simply from being in a public space. Everyone must do what’s best for them to stay safe and for me the vaccine seemed like the safest way to venture out again.
As the jab starts to circulate and become more available worldwide, the eyes are on the US, leading in the total number of people vaccinated worldwide. This is not an ad for Moderna, I simply got what was available, but studies at that time were already showing antibodies present in newborn babies from a single dose. With the baby soon here and children not able to get this vaccine until 12 years old I decided to protect her in the best way I knew how by passing on my immunity to her. My symptoms for the first shot were an incredibly sore arm. The second shot was like nothing ever happened. I went to my appointment really nervous, but afterward, I felt such immense relief, like the year of weight lifted off my shoulders.
I tried my best not to speak with others about what I wanted. Trust begets trust, doubt begets doubt. The internet has given us access to information along with targeted algorithms that feed into our fears. Somehow I feel sharper and clear-headed after an internet detox. It’s what getting a refresh in nature must feel like in comparison to deleting cache memory in your browser.
The results were undeniable. As fatalities plummeted, the vaccines were proving to be effective. Of course, not everyone will see eye to eye, and that’s ok. We are not wrong to do what is right for us and our family. I don’t want this to be another reason for separation. I want it to bring us closer together and be able to hug again perhaps? Don’t take my word or reason. Do your research, speak to your healthcare professionals, those that you trust. If they recommend you to wait or abstain then it’s for your health and safety and no one else.
Some mothers consider stopping nursing for a while or perhaps pump extra milk prior; however, we risk disrupting our feeding rhythm and may not be able to feed again as we want. It’s important to remember that the milk changes to raise the baby’s immunity when the mother is sick. The WHO recommends pregnant women to get vaccinated and continue breastfeeding after vaccination. We all know that we pass on much-needed immunity protection to our babies from breastfeeding but it’s always best to speak with your doctor to adhere to best practices for yourself and your baby.
update* on Nov 28th 2021 I got the Moderna booster shot while breastfeeding.
I know family members who choose to do what’s right for them making it hard for the rest of the family. I don’t think getting the vaccine while pregnant is monumental, but it is the world we are living in and a decision that will shape our world and our future. Writing this on a hot sunny summer’s day in London, I realize that I wouldn’t be here without the vaccine. Our grandparents have held their grandbaby as a newborn and we are not taking that for granted. All I can be is grateful that we have the choice to decide what is best for our health and our family. The opportunity is ours for the taking.
*This article is written personally by Liv. If you find it insightful, please copy the link & share it with friends. Sharing is caring 💞