As we’ve all heard by now COVID-19 takes a far greater toll on pregnant people than of people the same age who are not pregnant. Pregnancy lowers your body’s immune response and for those who contact the COVID virus during pregnancy the odds are much greater for hospitalization, ICU, intubation and death. And, according to CDC research, a COVID infection during pregnancy increases the risk for preterm birth, stillbirth and should your baby contract COVID through you, admission to the NICU.
With all of those risks it’s pretty evident that pregnant people should do all they can to avoid getting COVID-19 or any of its variants. Hand-washing, social distancing and wearing a mask are all very sound ways to protect yourself (and others) from exposure to the virus. But, the fact remains the greatest protection comes from obtaining a COVID vaccine.
Not Vaccinated and Pregnant
For those who are not yet vaccinated and who are trying to become pregnant or are already pregnant this may create a dilemma. Is the vaccine safe while pregnant and is there a point in your pregnancy when it’s safer for you and your baby than at other times in pregnancy?
According to the most recent data from the CDC, a COVID-19 vaccine is strongly recommended for pregnant people as well as their partners. This is for your protection, protection of your baby and, of course, the greater good of mitigating this deadly pandemic. While we recognize vaccination is a personal choice, we offer this information so you make a decision for you and your baby that is well-informed.
What is the Best Time in Pregnancy For the COVID Vaccination?
You should get the vaccine as soon as possible. Any time during your pregnancy or when you are breastfeeding is the best time to obtain protection for you and your baby. The vaccine is safe and, moreover, effective whenever you get that jab-in-arm.
The sooner you obtain your COVID vaccine the better. Vaccinated people are less likely to develop a severe and high-risk infection. This is always important but even more so during pregnancy as you are much higher risk.
Will the COVID Vaccine Side Effects Harm My Unborn Child?
While some people experience no side effects following their vaccination others complain of injection site soreness and pain, body aches, fatigue, headache, joint pain and muscle pain. In a small number of cases, a low-grade fever develops. None of these side-effects last very long in most people. Pregnant people experiencing fever should treat with acetaminophen (Tylenol).
Side effects are more common after the second dose (Moderna and Pfizer). These side effects do not cause harm to your unborn child.
What About Breakthrough Infections?
Although we hear about breakthrough cases of COVID (an infection in vaccinated people) those cases are still fairly low. Pregnancy puts unvaccinated people in a higher risk category for dangerous outcomes however the vaccine and subsequent booster offer thorough protection against the virus. In the rare instance that you develop a breakthrough infection the risks for hospitalization, ICU, preterm delivery and death are significantly reduced.
Get Your Booster!
The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) now recommends that all pregnant people as well as recently pregnant and breastfeeding get their booster. This means two months after you receive your Johnson & Johnson or six months after your second Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.
According to a statement by a member of ACOG’s Immunization, Infectious Disease and Public Health Preparedness Team, Dr. Denise Jamieson, “Because pregnancy puts you at increased risk for severe disease and at risk for poor pregnancy outcomes like premature birth, ACOG does feel it’s important to recommend a booster for pregnant persons who are eligible,”
What About Those People With Pregnancy Complications?
Because pregnancy already places you in a vulnerable position you need to obtain a vaccine as soon as possible. This does not impact pregnancy in a negative way whatsoever but we do understand your concerns. Your doctor considers your personal diagnosis, if high-risk or having complications, and advises accordingly. They are the most medically informed.
Your Best Source of Information
Obviously the best source for information regarding the COVID vaccine and pregnancy is your own physician. If you are pregnant, considering treatment to become pregnant or simply have concerns about the COVID vaccine and pregnancy please contact LA IVF. We have all of the latest information regarding COVID-19 and its variants and we will steer you in the right direction for you and your baby.