Pregnancy and COVID-19 Vaccines

Multiple national pregnancy experts, including UW Health specialists, strongly recommend that pregnant and breastfeeding people get a COVID-19 vaccine. People thinking about or trying to get pregnant should also get a COVID-19 vaccine, and do not need to delay pregnancy after getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

Studies show that the COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective for people who are pregnant and breastfeeding.

The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention both agree that the benefits of being vaccinated outweigh theoretical risk for these patients.

Important things to consider.

  1. Safety data about how COVID-19 vaccines affect pregnant people, show there are noincreased side effects such as infertility, miscarriage, birth defects, stillbirth and infant hospitalizations.
  2. COVID-19 is dangerous, and more dangerous for pregnant people. The vaccines overwhelmingly protect against severe illness, hospitalization and death.
  3. COVID-19 patients who are pregnant are more likely to end up in the intensive care unit (ICU) or on a ventilator than COVID-19 patients who are not pregnant.
  4. Preterm birth may be more common for pregnant people with severe COVID-19.
  5. Pregnant people are more likely to die of COVID-19 than non-pregnant people with COVID-19 who are the same age.
  6. The vaccine provides early immunity to fetuses and newborns.
  7. The Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine and the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine report that there is no reason to believe that the vaccine affects the safety of breastmilk.
    1. The vaccine does not contain the virus, so there is no risk of infecting your baby.
    1. When we have an infection or get a vaccine, our bodies make antibodies to fight the infection. These antibodies can pass into the breastmilk and then to the baby – and may help prevent infections.
  8. The COVID-19 vaccines cannot give you COVID.
  9. These vaccines have no live virus.
  10. These vaccines do NOT contain ingredients that are known to be harmful to pregnant people or to the fetus.
  11. Many vaccines are routinely given in pregnancy and are safe (for example: tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, and flu).

Additional resources:

COVID-19 Vaccines While Pregnant or Breastfeeding (cdc.gov)

ACOG and SMFM Recommend COVID-19 Vaccination for Pregnant Individuals | ACOG