09:37 GMT15 May 2021
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    Breastfeeding mothers were not part of COVID ‘emergency use’ vaccine trials in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, so it’s not clear what kind of effects vaccination might have on infants whose mums have just received jabs.

    Mothers who have been vaccinated against COVID or have previously recovered from the disease are selling their breast milk “with safe antibodies” online, according to a stream of adverts on Only The Breast, a website which facilitates the purchase and shipment of the nourishing liquid across the US and Canada.

    For example, one 23-year-old mother from North Carolina says on the website that she has received two doses of Pfizer, and is now willing to sell her milk for $2.50 per ounce.

    “Provide your baby with safe antibodies!” her advert reads. “I have a Bachelor's degree in Biology and a Master's degree in a healthcare field. Experience working in hospitals. Breast milk will be handled with aseptic technique. Fresh or frozen available.”

    A nurse draws from a vial of Johnson & Johnson coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine, in Los Angeles, California, U.S., March 25, 2021. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File Photo
    A nurse draws from a vial of Johnson & Johnson coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine, in Los Angeles, California, U.S., March 25, 2021. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File Photo

    Another woman from Houston who promotes “COVID antibody, anti-allergen breast milk” says she has been vaccinated as of January 2021 and is ready to provide for just $2.00, bearing in mind that she consumes "no dairy, soy, wheat, shellfish, peanuts,” as well as no caffeine, alcohol or drugs.

    Meanwhile, another mommy from Chicago claims that her milk “contains STRONG COVID antibodies that are transferred to baby” after recovering from the disease in the autumn with “very high” antibodies.

    “I had COVID in October and get tested for antibodies regularly as I work in healthcare. My baby got COVID and was over it in one day due to my antibodies,” the 38-year-old alleges on the website.

    According to the woman, her baby “continues to be protected” by the antibodies “as studies show that they are passed on through breast milk for as long as the mother has them.”

    A research published by the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology in March had indeed indicated that some antibodies were transferred from lactating women to their breastfed infants via milk – as well as from vaccinated pregnant women to their newborns through the placenta.

    America’s leading immunologist Anthony Fauci has recently agreed that there is a link between vaccination among pregnant women and breastfeeding mums and their infants.

    Meanwhile, there is still not enough information to make bold claims that any vaccinated women may transfer large amounts of antibodies with their milk. Also, it has not been proven that this is 100% save, as breastfeeding mothers were not included in the testing trials for vaccine emergency use, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US.

    “There are no data available on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines in lactating people, the effects of vaccination on the breastfed infant, the effects on milk production or excretion,” the CDC states on its website.

    So it is possible that for some earners ‘COVID antibody milk’ adverts are still just a good marketing strategy powered by a desire to indicate that they are free from COVID – even if this does not necessarily bring large benefits for infants who would consume this milk in the end.

    According to social media users, the idea of selling breast milk after getting COVID vaccines or recovering from the disease is either brilliant or a something that will get completely “screwed up” in the end.

    breast milk, milk, coronavirus, COVID-19
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