It’s no surprise that pregnant women focus on the health and wellness of their unborn children, first and foremost. However, your baby’s health is dependent on your own to a large degree. That’s why it’s very concerning to the medical community that statistics show only about a third of pregnant women in the US are fully vaccinated and protected against the COVID-19 virus.
Uncovering the Truth
One of the major concerns regarding pregnant women and vaccinations is the false assumption that the Covid vaccine will cause preterm birth. This is simply not true.
Obtaining a vaccine does not put you or your baby at any greater risk for premature delivery than those pregnant women who remain unvaccinated.
A study recently published by the CDC and lead by Yale Medicine OB-GYN and High Risk pregnancy specialist Heather Lipkind, MD supports existing evidence that the vaccine is safe during pregnancy and offers no increased risk for preterm birth or pregnancy complications.
How The Study Was Conducted and It’s Findings
Dr. Lipkind and her team studied more than 46,000 women who were pregnant with a single baby, including some 10,000 women who received one or more doses of the Covid vaccine between December 15, 2020, and July 22, 2021. The majority of the pregnant women received the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines and most of those women obtained the vaccine in their second or third trimester.
The results showed 6.6% of those babies were born before 37 weeks gestation indicating preterm delivery and 8.2% were born weighing under 5 pounds, 8 ounces. Which indicates the baby is small for gestational age. These rates are no different than that of the unvaccinated pregnant women in the same study.
Urgent Need for Vaccines for Pregnant Individuals
This study is timely indeed as the Omicron variant of the Covid-19 virus surges throughout the world and misinformation regarding vaccines, their safety and the protection they offer is everywhere. Omicron is extremely contagious and protecting yourself and your unborn baby is especially crucial right now. This virulent variant means it’s more difficult for you to protect yourself from an infection if you aren’t vaccinated.
Conducted in collaboration with Health Partners Institute, Kaiser Permanent and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute, the study underscores the benefits of the vaccine as well.
Researchers note the danger and risks associated with pregnant women who contract the virus. Pregnant individuals who become infected have an increased risk of ICU admission, placement on a ventilator and death.
The threat to an unborn child is greater in unvaccinated pregnant people who fall victim to the Covid-19 virus. According to an impact study by the CDC conducted in November of 2021 those who have the virus during pregnancy are at increased risk for premature birth, stillbirth and other complications.
Dr. Lipkind points to the additional risks associated with preterm birth, “With each week of gestation, the brain develops more. If you have Covid and have to deliver preterm, which can also affect long-term development.”
Get Vaccinated For the Health of Your Baby
Another benefit of the vaccine for pregnant people? You can pass the coronavirus antibodies to your baby which helps protect them. This is especially important during the surges of variants such as Omicron and those expected to come.
Vaccination rates remain low among all pregnant women although they do vary widely by community. Half of all pregnant Asian Americans are fully vaccinated, but only a fourth of the pregnant Hispanic population, and only 15% of Black women received the vaccine. The lack of protection for those women is a risky endeavor with potentially heartbreaking outcomes.
Dr. Lipkind sees unvaccinated patients in her practice who get far sicker with the virus. According to Dr. Lipkind the severity of a Covid infection in her pregnant and unvaccinated patients resulted in preterm birth and loss of pregnancy.
Putting Your Fears to Rest
There is, understandably, a fear of the unknown. That’s why the CDC, American Society for Reproductive Medicine, American College of Gynecology and the Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine are quick to bring study results to light and encourage all pregnant individuals and those seeking pregnancy become vaccinated against Covid-19 and it’s variants.
Our team at LA IVF is here to help you understand all the latest news regarding pregnancy and the Covid vaccine. If you have questions or concerns about the vaccine, the virus or how either one affects your pregnancy contact LA IVF today and let us put your worries to rest.