Breastfeeding should not be halted even for an hour: Centre on new vaccine rules

Published on May 22, 2021 08:02 PM IST
Until recently, lactating women were not allowed for vaccination against Covid-19, but as the Centre has given a green signal to this group, it has clarified that it won't affect the newborn in any way.
Vaccination against Covid-19 does not come in the way of breastfeeding, the Centre has clarified.
Vaccination against Covid-19 does not come in the way of breastfeeding, the Centre has clarified.

Amid doubts and speculations on whether lactating women have to stop breastfeeding for a day or two after getting vaccinated against Covid-19, the Centre on Saturday said that there should be no disruption in breastfeeding because of the vaccine. The Centre has recently allowed lactating mothers to take Covid-19 vaccines.

Many misleading claims have been made that new mothers who take Covid-19 vaccines should not feed their newborns immediately after vaccination. The waiting period should be one to two days, according to these reports. Niti Aayog (health) member VK Paul said there has been no such advisory as there is no problem in breastfeeding after vaccination. "In no situation, breastfeeding should be halted even for an hour," he said.

Pregnant and lactating women were initially excluded from the government's vaccination programme as the Covishield and Covaxin were not tried on these groups in India. Recently, the government's expert group has given a go-ahead to bring both these groups under the purview of vaccination. It said pregnant women can be given the option between the vaccines, while it is completely safe for lactating women to get vaccinated. The Centre has accepted the recommendation on lactating women and paused the one on pregnant women saying more deliberations are required before taking the final decision.

Covid-19 infection does not spread from a mother to her newborn through breastmilk, doctors have already said. It can, however, transmit through the regular way of respiratory droplets. Hence, doctors have advised face masks or face shields for lactating mothers.

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