COVID Vaccines During Pregnancy: What We Know About Safety, Benefits
Dec 06, 2021
Pregnancy experts strongly recommend that all pregnant and recently pregnant individuals, including those who are breastfeeding, get a COVID-19 vaccine. But why? And how do we know COVID vaccines are safe for you and your baby?
It’s totally understandable to have questions about COVID vaccines during pregnancy. Thankfully, research on the risks and benefits of the vaccine for pregnant people is very reassuring. Here’s what we know so far.
What are the benefits of getting a COVID vaccine during pregnancy?
Vaccination lowers your chances of getting seriously sick from COVID — and could even help protect your baby. Research shows that many people who get COVID-19 vaccines during pregnancy pass protective antibodies against COVID-19 to their babies, which could help protect them from COVID-19 after they’re born.
Are COVID-19 vaccines safe during pregnancy?
Over 100,000 pregnant people in the U.S. have received a COVID vaccine, so we now have a decent amount of research showing two things:
- Getting the vaccine during pregnancy doesn’t increase your chances of side effects, miscarriage, or having your baby born too small or too early.
- Vaccination during pregnancy is a LOT safer for you and your baby than getting COVID when you’re pregnant.
What COVID-19 vaccine side effects do pregnant people experience?
According to the CDC, people who are pregnant report the same side effects as other people after vaccination with COVID-19 vaccines. And side effects are similar to what you might see after any vaccination, including:
- Soreness or swelling where you got the vaccine
- Muscle pain
Not everyone will get these side effects, but those who do are usually back to normal after a few days.
Have you read:
- COVID Vaccine Boosters: What You Need to Know
- I’m a Doctor and Mom of Two. Here’s Why I Vaccinated My Young Kids Against COVID
- Video Q&A: Vaccines During Pregnancy
That said, because fever (for any reason) can be dangerous during pregnancy, if you get a fever after vaccination, you should talk to your doctor about taking acetaminophen (Tylenol).
Likewise, in very rare cases some people have had allergic reactions after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. Talk to your healthcare provider if you have a history of allergic reactions to other vaccines or any other concerns.
When in my pregnancy should I get my COVID-19 vaccine?
As soon as possible. The sooner you receive your vaccine, the less likely you are to get really sick with COVID-19.
Do I need my doctor’s approval to get my COVID-19 vaccine?
Nope. Talking to your doctor or other healthcare providers about the COVID-19 vaccine can be helpful. But you don’t need a doctor’s approval to get the vaccine.
Where can I get my COVID-19 vaccine?
If you are in the U.S., you can use vaccines.gov to find COVID-19 vaccine providers near you. Health departments and healthcare providers are also great resources for finding COVID-19 vaccine providers and additional information.
Have more questions? That’s OK! Your doctor or healthcare provider can share more information about the risks and benefits of COVID vaccines for you and your baby specifically.
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