Part 2 : Angie’s Story; COVID19 Vaccine and Breastmilk Donation

Hi again! My name is Angela and at the request of Carol & Randi, I am sharing my experience of receiving the Covid-19 vaccine and how it has affected me and the breast milk I have supplied to my local milk bank. To read part one, please click here.

Short recap; I received the first dose of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine on 12/29/2020 and the second dose on 1/27/2021. I had minor symptoms after the first dose and the symptoms from the second dose were similar to that of a mild flu, both in severity and endurance. So, what changed after taking the vaccine?

I informed the milk bank that I was fortunate enough to receive the Covid-19 vaccine from my employer. Since the Covid-19 vaccine is so new and unknown, they couldn’t very well use my milk for babies because of the lack of research. They asked me to pack up the breastmilk bags pumped for 5 days after receiving each dose into their cooler with a green bag instead of a clear one. The green bag signifies to them that the breast milk is to be used for researching the effects of the vaccine on breastmilk and not for regular use.

I froze the individual bags and when I accumulated 400 oz, I shipped it all in a cooler they provided. Two big ice packs went on the bottom of the styrofoam cooler, next the frozen milk bags inside a bigger clear bag, then two more big ice packs on top of the milk followed by the cooler lid. I shipped it overnight so it would arrive at their processing facility still frozen.

I am excited to be part of this milk bank’s research as well as another study of breastmilk by UC San Diego. For UCSD, I have saved frozen samples of breastmilk pumped at 24 hours, 48 hours, 1 week and 2 weeks after each dose of vaccine I received. My hope is that research will find that the vaccine is not only safe while breastfeeding but beneficial to babies receiving that milk and will help to calm the fears some mothers may have about getting the vaccine. I am thankful to be in the unique situation that allows me to provide breastmilk for research purposes without depriving a baby of much needed nutrients.

I appreciate Building Families’ interest in wanting to spread awareness about the Covid-19 vaccine and I look forward to sharing more information in the future.