For new or soon-to-be moms, living in a pandemic means worrying for two. But, as you might already know, the vaccine is currently available for pregnant women. With rumors swirling about the relationship between the Covid-19 vaccine and pregnancy, it might make taking the leap to get vaccinated a little bit nerve-wracking for some moms. Not to worry, there is plenty of information to set the record straight and help you separate fact from fiction regarding the Covid vaccine and pregnancy. So let’s dive right in!
Years ago, a rumor surfaced that receiving the Covid-19 vaccine during pregnancy, or even before, could negatively affect fertility. This came about when a former Pfizer employee suggested that there is an ingredient in the vaccine that might cause a woman’s immune system to attack a protein that is key to developing the placenta — the organ that allows the passing of oxygen and nutrients to babies in the womb. He argued that when the vaccine trains the body to fight the Covid protein it could also mistakenly fight the similar looking placenta proteins which are vital to fertility. This claim is just that — a claim. Although it is possible that there is more that is still unknown, the fact of the matter is that there is currently no evidence that the Covid-19 vaccine causes issues with fertility.
So, is it recommended? In short, yes! The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine encourage giving out the COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. The relatively low potential for risks to placenta are far outweighed by the high benefits of receiving the vaccine in order to prevent a dangerous encounter with the virus.
Although there is no existing evidence that the Covid vaccine has an impact on fertility, there is evidence that contracting Covid-19 while pregnant can make a woman more sick. The fact is, pregnant women are more likely to end up in the hospital, need a ventilator, or even visit the ICU.
If you are concerned about getting the Covid vaccine while breastfeeding and exposing your baby to the vaccine through breast milk, here is a good reason to take a sigh of relief: It is highly unlikely. If this were to happen, it would be easily digested by the baby. However, it is possible that through breastfeeding antibodies from a vaccinated mom could be passed on to her baby — this is a great thing! This means that a vaccine for mom might actually help in the protection of her baby against Covid-19.
Although it might seem intimidating, the Covid vaccine’s effects on pregnancy are actually not as worrisome as you might think. The real worry is in contracting this virus while pregnant and having to fight it for two. Coastal Kids recommends that any pregnant or breastfeeding mom who is comfortable with it, and has approval from their doctor, get the Covid vaccine for their safety and the safety of their little one. Feel free to consult with your doctor about any concerns you may have, to get guidance or reassurance about whether the vaccine is right for you. As always, stay safe, and we hope to see you and your newborn soon!