Pregnant woman wearing a mask receives a covid-19 vaccine from a female doctor wearing a mask

COVID-19 Vaccine Guidance for Pregnancy and Breastfeeding 

When COVID-19 vaccines first became available, health experts did not initially recommend that pregnant individuals receive the vaccine out of an abundance of caution – and left it up to the individuals to make that decision with their health care provider. 

As more information became available, that advice has changed. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine now recommend that individuals who are pregnant, breastfeeding, trying to get pregnant or may be pregnant in the future get vaccinated against COVID-19, and receive a booster dose if needed.  

This is because there’s evidence that people who are pregnant or who were recently pregnant are more likely to get severely sick from COVID-19 – compared to people who are not pregnant; and that people who have COVID during pregnancy are at an increased risk of pregnancy complications.  

None of the COVID-19 vaccines can cause anyone to be infected. They program your immune system to respond to the virus should you encounter it in the future.  

If you’re pregnant:  

  • The CDC recommends vaccination against COVID.  
  • The CDC recommends a booster shot against COVID.  
  • If you have a fever after being vaccinated, it’s important to take acetaminophen as fevers during pregnancy have been associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes. 
  • Vaccination during pregnancy might help protect the fetus against COVID-19. Research has found antibodies in umbilical cord blood after a pregnant person received a mRNA COVID vaccine. 
  • Talk to your health care provider if you have questions. 

If you’re breastfeeding:  

  • The CDC recommends vaccination against COVID.  
  • The CDC recommends a booster shot against COVID.  
  • Recent reports shown individuals who are breastfeeding after having received an mRNA COVID vaccine have antibodies in their breastmilk. More research is needed to see what level of protection a baby receives from these antibodies.  
  • Talk to your health care provider if you have questions. 

If you hope to become pregnant:  

  • The CDC recommends vaccination against COVID for yourself and your partner. 
  • The CDC recommends a booster shot against COVID for yourself and your partner.  
  • Talk to your health care provider if you have questions. 

The CDC, as well as vaccine manufacturers, are continuing to review clinical trials of the safety and effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccines in people who are pregnant. There’s a growing body of evidence that the benefits of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy greatly outweigh any known or potential risks. 

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Photo credit: Getty Images

 

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