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COVID-19 Vaccination and Breastfeeding

The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) has recently granted interim authorisation for the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in Singapore and vaccination is progressively being rolled out to the entire population under the national COVID-19 Vaccination Programme.

COVID-19 vaccination and breastfeeding:

There is no information available on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines in breastfeeding women or on the effects of these vaccines on the breastfed infant or on milk production. This is because the vaccine trials did not include breastfeeding women.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) recommends that women who are breastfeeding can receive the vaccine but are advised to stop breastfeeding for 5 to 7 days after as a cautionary measure. However, if a women feels she is unable to suspend breastfeeding and still wishes to get vaccinated, she can be vaccinated. The World Health Organization and Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine have evaluated and concluded that it is possible for breastfeeding women who opt to take the vaccine to continue breastfeeding post vaccination1.

The KK Human Milk Bank* advises breastfeeding women who choose to take the vaccine and decide to temporarily stop breastfeeding, can express and store their excess breast milk before going for vaccination. They can then use the expressed milk to feed their babies during the 5 to 7 days post vaccination. During the period when breastfeeding is interrupted, it is important for these mothers to express their milk regularly to maintain their milk supply. For advice on maintaining lactation and milk expression, please contact the KKH Lactation Service at 6 CALL KKH (62255554).

For women who do not have excess breast milk and who do not wish to feed their babies with infant formula during the post-vaccination period, they can contact the KK Human Milk Bank for pasteurised donor human milk (PDHM) for their infants, if the infant is less than a year old.

The contact information for the KK Human Milk Bank is as follows:

Phone: 6394 1986
Email: milkbank@kkh.com.sg

Or visit KK Human Milk Bank located at:

KK Women’s And Children’s Hospital
100 Bukit Timah Road
Singapore 229899
Level 2, Women’s Tower

(Please make an appointment with the KK Human Milk Bank via phone or email before visiting)

Operation hours:

Monday to Friday (except public holidays)
8.30am to 5.00pm (Lunch hour: 1.00pm to 2.00pm)

*The KK Human Milk Bank is supported by Temasek Foundation


Please click on this link to find out more about the use of PDHM.

           

1 Ref: https://www.bfmed.org/abm-statement-considerations-for-covid-19-vaccination-in-lactation