Early this year Dr. Farias hosted a Facebook live in our Tucson Women: Healthy Living Facebook Group to discuss the COVID vaccine as it pertains to people who are pregnant, attempting conception, or breastfeeding. You can watch the full video here.
Please consult with your healthcare provider before making a decision on the COVID vaccine in your unique situation. The information in this blog post is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
COVID-19 & The Transition to Parenthood
Having a baby can be both an exciting and anxiety-provoking experience for expecting mothers. During your transition to parenthood, you’re met with many decisions to make regarding you and your baby’s health – what foods to consume, what vitamins to take, and even what vaccines to get.
Since the onset of COVID-19, we’ve had many patients come to us with concerns about contracting the virus while trying to conceive, during pregnancy, or while breastfeeding. Patients continued to voice the same questions and concerns once the COVID-19 vaccine became available to the general public.
Given the added layer of anxiety that the vaccine has caused and continues to cause patients, we want to address some of the more common questions we’re hearing in effort to ease concerns regarding the virus and vaccine.
Risk Factors During Pregnancy
For over two years now, COVID-19 has been affecting our lives by continuously sparking numerous changes and obstacles within our daily lives and our health. Unfortunately for expecting mothers, those obstacles can be life-altering in more ways than one.
Due to the changes that expectant mothers experience during pregnancy, they are at an increased risk for suffering major complications from COVID-19, compared to non-pregnant women of the same age.
Since the onset of the virus in 2019, we’ve seen pregnant women become very ill with COVID-19, resulting in:
- Weeks of intubation and ICU stays
- Increased risk of preterm delivery and stillbirth
- Death of mother and baby
Our goal is to prevent these unfortunate outcomes as much as possible – and the best way to do that is to be vaccinated.
Infertility Concerns with the COVID-19 Vaccine
People have concerns about infertility relating to getting a COVID vaccine. There is no credible, scientific evidence that the COVID-19 vaccine has a negative effect on fertility. The vaccines were evaluated in tens of thousands of participants in clinical trials, and have met the FDA’s high standards of safety.
There is nothing in the vaccine that will cause any issues in future fertility or cause problems with getting pregnant. Whether immediately after you get the vaccination or years after getting the vaccination.
In fact, people who are pregnant are at an increased risk for those severe complications with COVID.
Knowing this, if you’re trying to get pregnant the best time to get vaccinated is immediately because if you get COVID during pregnancy you are at risk for more severe complications. If you have recently delivered and were not vaccinated, you can still be vaccinated while you’re breastfeeding.
There is no time in your reproductive life that vaccination is not safe for you or that it’s not recommended.
Recommendations on Getting Booster Vaccinations
It is possible that you can get COVID despite having a vaccination. The Pfizer and the Moderna vaccination have been shown to be roughly 90 percent effective at preventing COVID. However, with the discovery of the Delta and Omicron variants, it looks like the vaccine (especially the two vaccine series) may not be enough. The CDC recommends booster vaccinations to increase your protection against COVID-19.
When you get your booster vaccination is based on when you had your last COVID vaccine. If it has been 2 months since you have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccination or has been at least 6 months since you have had a Pfizer or Moderna vaccination then it is recommended that you have a booster.
Breakthrough infections are an infection that is seen in someone who has been vaccinated. The majority of the breakthrough infections currently are in people who have had two vaccinations but have not had the booster, especially in cases of newer variants such as Omicron and Delta.
If you have any questions about the booster, talk to your physician or doctor about what would be best for you.
The boosters are important if you are pregnant and you are due for a booster, we recommend that you get the booster at the time that it’s available to you to ensure your highest level of protection against COVID.
We are here for you.
Let us guide you through your journey of protecting yourself and your baby from COVID-19 just like you trust us to guide you through your pregnancy, delivery, and all of your questions about taking care of children.
We care about you and your family and we want to give you the best information possible.