Being pregnant during a pandemic can be really frightening. We know that pregnant women are more vulnerable to getting sick during pregnancy, as the body naturally lowers its defenses to nurture the life growing inside. For this reason, pregnant women are more likely to get COVID-19 than the general population. COVID-19 infection during pregnancy increases the risk of preterm birth or delivering a stillborn infant.
The World Health Organization recommends pregnant women get vaccinated for coronavirus-19 (COVID-19). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists (ACOG), Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine (SMFM) and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) recommends that pregnant women, or those trying to get pregnant, get vaccinated for COVID-19, including the booster, at any stage of pregnancy. Getting vaccinated during pregnancy allows your body to create antibodies to fight against COVID-19 infection, which get passed along to the baby in utero.
Because the COVID-19 virus is a live virus that grows and mutates rapidly, new strains of COVID-19 continue to develop, which may not always be covered by the current vaccine available. However, with each vaccine, researchers are continuing to study how well the vaccine protects against the new strain of virus and make changes to the vaccine accordingly. This is another reason why the booster shot is recommended. Studies have shown moms who are vaccinated and do get COVID-19 during pregnancy or shortly after birth, have milder symptoms.
Additionally, their infants have some immunity to COVID-19, especially when the vaccine is given late in pregnancy. This is important since infants are not yet eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine until 6 months of age. Additionally, moms who get the COVID booster and breastfeed, pass along antibodies to their infants after birth.
When the vaccine was first created, many rumors surfaced regarding the safety of the vaccine including birth defects, miscarriage, pregnancy complications and infertility. There is no evidence that the COVID-19 vaccine effects fertility or causes birth defects. Many women who have received the vaccine have gotten pregnant afterwards and carried their babies to term.
Getting COVID-19 infection poses greater risk for you and your unborn baby than the vaccine currently. The most reported side effects after receiving a booster are fever, headache, fatigue, and pain at the injection site. There’s a lot of misinformation out there. Be sure to discuss your fears, questions and concerns with your healthcare provider and ask about your eligibility to receive a COVID-19 booster.
Whatever you decide, rest assured that you will make the best decision possible, for you and your little one. As Mama Coaches and Registered Nurses, we are here to provide non-judgmental support, every step of the way.