It is a really exciting time when you are pregnant. It can be very difficult during this era of COVID-19.

What you need to know now if you’re pregnant

The short and sweet version of this article is not for you. The COVID-19 vaccine and pregnant women are topics that you need to know about.

  • If you are pregnant, you are more likely to get sick from COVID-19.
  • The risk of pregnancy problems increases with the number of COVID-19.
  • The recommended vaccines for pregnant women are COVID-19.
  • The vaccine is safe and effective during pregnancy.
  • There is no evidence that the vaccine causes any problems.
  • The COVID-19 vaccine can help protect your baby after they are born.

Pregnant people are one of several groups at a higher risk of becoming very ill from COVID-19. COVID-19 can also lead to serious pregnancy complications as well.

The good news is that the COVID-19 vaccine can protect against severe illness and complications. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that anyone who is pregnant, breastfeeding, or plans to become pregnant get a COVID-19 vaccine and booster.

Getting a vaccine during a pregnant time may feel intimidating, but we are here to help. We will go over eight facts about the vaccine that are backed by research.

Language Matters

You’ll notice we use the term “women” in this article. While we realize this term may not match your gender experience, it’s the term used by the researchers whose data was cited. We try to be as specific as possible when reporting on research participants and clinical findings.

Unfortunately, the studies and surveys referenced in this article didn’t report data for or may not have had participants who are transgender, nonbinary, gender nonconforming, genderqueer, agender, or genderless.

According to the CDC, if you’re pregnant, you have a higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19. This can include things like:

That’s not all, though: COVID-19 can also have serious consequences for your pregnancy. That’s because if you get COVID-19 while pregnant, you have a higher risk of pregnancy complications.

A March 2022 review of research notes that various studies have found that getting COVID-19 while pregnant is associated with an increased risk of:

Vaccination can help prevent these problems.

There is a big concern about the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccines during pregnancy.

Since the COVID-19 vaccines have been available, many studies have supported this. We’re not going to cover each one of them here (that would take all day), but let’s explore what some of them say.

Researchers in a 2021 study looked at the effectiveness of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in pregnant women. They compared 7,530 vaccinated pregnant women and 7,530 unvaccinated pregnant women.

The researchers found that women who werevaccinated had a lower risk of contracting the coronaviruses that causes COVID-19.

The women who were vaccine free reported no serious side effects. The side effects were similar to those seen in the general population.

Vaccines work by introducing your immune system to a germ. Your immune system crafts a response, which includes antibodies, to the vaccine. Your immune system can then call upon this response to protect you from the actual germ in the future.

The good news is that pregnant people seem to have the same immune response as nonpregnant people.

In a 2021 study, researchers compared immune responses in 131 pregnant, lactating, or nonpregnant women. They found the levels of antibodies made in response to vaccination were similar between all three groups. Side effects were also similar in all groups.

The levels of antibodies made in response to vaccine during pregnancy were higher than the levels made from the infections.

The vaccine is safe and effective in pregnant women, but it is still low compared with the general population.

For example, a January 2022 study in Scotland found that in October 2021, only 32.3% of women giving birth had received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, compared with 77.4% of the total female population.

A 2021 study found that out of a group of 1,328 pregnant women, less than one-third got the COVID-19 vaccine when it was offered to them. Vaccinated women still had similar pregnancy outcomes to those who were not vaccinated.

“It is important to raise vaccine coverage to prevent illness and birth defects. Concerns about the vaccine’s effects have made people hesitant. Next, let’s look at some of the concerns.”

One concern about the COVID-19 vaccine is whether it increases the risk of miscarriage. Research says this isn’t the case.

A 2021 research letter outlines a study on this topic. For the study, researchers used the Vaccine Safety Datalink database to analyze COVID-19 vaccines and miscarriage rates. Data from about 3% of the U.S. population is included in this database.

There were 105,446 unique pregnancies, 92,286 of which were ongoing and 13,160 of which resulted in a miscarriage. The three COVID-19 vaccines used in the US were represented in this large group.

“Researchers wanted to know if the COVID-19 vaccines were linked with a woman’s miscarriage. They were looking to see if people who had a miscarriage were more likely to have received a vaccine.”

“This isn’t what they found. Researchers found that women who had a miscarriage were not more likely to have received a vaccine in the previous 28 days.”

Birth and delivery complications are not associated with the vaccine.

Researchers in a March 2022 study reviewed data from a population-based survey. Among a group of 97,590 pregnant people, 22,660 (23%) had gotten at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine during their pregnancy.

People who were vaccine free during their pregnancies were compared to people who got vaccine after their pregnancies. They found that there was no increased risk of vaccine-related problems during pregnancy.

Another large March 2022 study also supports these findings. This study used data from 157,521 deliveries of single babies (no twins, triplets, etc.) in Sweden and Norway.

There were 28,506 pregnancies that included COVID-19 vaccine. Researchers found that there was no increased risk of birth defects in pregnancies with vaccine.

  • The birth was premature.
  • There is a There is a stillbirth..
  • low birth weight
  • admission to the hospital
  • Apgar score was low.

If you’re not yet pregnant but plan to be in the near future, you may wonder whether the COVID-19 vaccine could affect your fertility. According to the CDC, there’s currently no evidence that COVID-19 vaccines cause fertility issues.

Research supports this statement. A January 2022 study included 2,126 self-identified female participants ages 21 through 45 who were trying to get pregnant. Participants completed surveys every 8 weeks about:

  • The details of the vaccine or the infections.
  • Sociodemographic info
  • Medical and lifestyle details.
  • Information on their partner.

Researchers concluded that COVID-19 vaccine was not associated with long-term decreased fertility in either females or males.

Researchers found that getting COVID-19 itself was associated with a potential decline in male fertility for 60 days.

“We have dispelled the main concerns about COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy, so let’s look at some of the benefits that it may give your baby.”

Antibodies that your body makes after vaccination can be passed to your baby through the placenta. These antibodies can go on to protect them when they’re particularly vulnerable to germs in the months after birth.

A June 2022 study included 21,643 babies, 9,739 (45%) of whom were born to mothers who had gotten their second or third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy.

The babies had a lower risk of having a positive COVID-19 test. The finding persisted even though protection was stronger against Delta.

A February 2022 study included 379 hospitalized babies; 176 of them had COVID-19 and the other 203 babies were hospitalized for other reasons.

Researchers wanted to see how effective maternal vaccination was at preventing COVID-19 hospitalizationof a baby within their first 6 months of life. Using this parameter, researchers found that vaccine effectiveness was:

  • Overall, 61%
  • The percentage of infants who had completed their vaccine series within the first 20 weeks of their pregnancies was lower.
  • The vaccine series that mothers completed 21 weeks or later into their pregnancies had a higher percentage of infants who were higher in (80%).

How long does this protection last? Researchers were trying to find this.

According to a February 2022 research letter, experts compared antibody levels in babies whose mothers had either been vaccinated against COVID-19 during pregnancy or who had actually had COVID-19 during pregnancy.

Researchers found that babies whose mothers had been vaccined against COVID-19 had higher levels of their own.

Babies born to mothers who were vaccine free had a higher percentage of detectable antibodies six months after birth. Only 8% of babies whose mothers had COVID-19 had detectable antibodies.

It’s known that breastfeeding parents pass antibodies to their babies through breast milk. These antibodies can help protect a baby from various germs.

Antibodies made in response to COVID-19 vaccination have been detected in breast milk. Let’s look at a research letter about a 2021 study that discussed this.

The study included 84 breastfeeding mothers who provided breast milk samples. After getting the first dose of the vaccine, participants were followed up weekly for 6 weeks.

Researchers looked for two types of antibodies. IgA is found in the immune response. Later, Ignite appears.

They found the amount of breast milk samples rose after the vaccine. They peaked at week 4 after the second dose, and then dropped at week 6.

The first vaccine dose did not contain any breast milk samples with Ig Ig. By the 4th and 6th week of the experiment, more than 85% of breast milk samples had some form of IgM.

This all sounds great. The number of participants was small and it is not known how long the antibodies will last or the strength of protection they provide to a baby. More research will help find these things.

COVID-19 vaccine recommendations during pregnancy

We’ve done all this talking about COVID-19 vaccines and pregnancy, but what exactly are the COVID-19 vaccine recommendations, anyway?

As of writing, the CDC recommends the following for adults:

  • All adults should receive a primary vaccine series of one of the following:
    • The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is given in two doses.
    • The vaccine is given in two doses over a period of 8 weeks.
    • one dose of the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) adenovirus vector vaccine
  • When eligible, adults can also get a booster shot. You’re eligible for a booster:
    • 5 months after your vaccine series.
    • 2 months after the J&J vaccine
  • MRNA vaccines are preferred over the J&J vaccine for both the primary series and the booster.
  • Immunocompromised people have a different schedule for their primary vaccine series and boosters.

The vaccine is safe and effective during pregnancy. It is important to prevent serious illness and pregnancy problems from COVID-19.

The vaccine has not been associated with an increased risk of infertility, miscarriage, or other birth defects.

“The vaccine can be passed on to the baby through the mother’s breast milk. Babies can be protected with these antibodies after they are born.”

The vaccine is recommended for pregnant women, breastfeeding women and people who plan to get pregnant. If you have questions about the vaccine, you should bring them to the attention of your doctor or another healthcare professional.