Pregnant, nursing women who get COVID-19 vaccine could pass antibodies to their babies, new research says

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — New research shows pregnant and nursing women who get the COVID-19 vaccine could pass along antibodies to their babies. 

Nannette Smith is a breastfeeding mom of four. She is also a leader of La Leche League of Greater Kansas City, a group encouraging breastfeeding. She tells me she did her research before she had her first vaccine shot.  

“The risks of something going wrong with the vaccine for me or my child, are pretty minimal compared to the benefits of hopefully not getting a really bad case of COVID,” Smith said. “There’s really not much in the way of risks that they found. Whether you’re breastfeeding or not, it’s pretty much the same.” 

A new study found side effects are similar in pregnant and non-pregnant women. The study followed more than 100 vaccinated women. Most of the subjects were pregnant, some were breastfeeding, and others weren’t pregnant or nursing. The study found antibodies in the placenta and breast milk of vaccinated moms. 

Marc Parrish gynecologist at the University of Kansas Health System said this could help protect entire household. 

“The majority of younger children and babies that test positive are bound to be asymptomatic,” Parrish said. “Where it could be important, though, is decreasing the risks of transmission to other family members who may be susceptible to becoming more ill with the virus.” 

Parrish said the early research is  not surprising. 

“These studies that are coming out, I’d say everybody should continue to read them with some caution since they haven’t been peer reviewed. But none of the data that has been put out there in the public domain thus far is surprising at all,” Dr. Parrish said. 

Smith recommends moms consult a doctor before choosing what works best. 

“My husband has a ton of medical professionals in his family,” Smith said. “We just talk about science all the time, and it just makes sense to me.” “Our bodies are so amazing. They just are incredible making, like a medicine for something that you can give your child before they’ve even been exposed. It’s just awesome.” 

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