December 08, 2021

Is It Safe to Get the COVID-19 Vaccine If You’re Pregnant or Breastfeeding?

Pregnant woman receiving a vaccination at the doctor's office

Being protected from COVID-19 is important for everyone, especially those who are pregnant and their unborn babies. Consequently, if you’re pregnant, you should use disease prevention practices like avoiding crowds, wearing a mask when appropriate, and washing your hands frequently. 

Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is another step you can take. However, pregnant patients, their partners, and family members may have questions about the safety of the COVID-19 vaccines for expectant and breastfeeding mothers. 

This may be, in part, because health experts have historically been hesitant about recommending other types of vaccinations for those who are pregnant. Fortunately, there’s good news from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about that. 

CDC: COVID-19 Vaccines Safe During Pregnancy

Based on the latest data on COVID-19 vaccines, the CDC recommends that all eligible people — including pregnant people — get vaccinated as soon as possible. Specifically, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky has stated, “CDC encourages all pregnant people or people who are thinking about becoming pregnant and those breastfeeding to get vaccinated to protect themselves from COVID-19.”

The CDC’s statement goes on to say that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective and that there’s an urgent need to increase vaccination rates, particularly because of the highly transmissible Delta variant and the severe illness it causes. 

Regarding the risk of miscarriage, in particular, the statement says that a recent study “did not find an increased risk of miscarriage among nearly 2,500 pregnant women who received an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine before 20 weeks of pregnancy.” Combined with prior data from safety monitoring systems that didn’t raise safety concerns for pregnant patients or their babies, the CDC says the benefits of being vaccinated “outweigh any known or potential risks.”

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COVID-19 Vaccines Produce a Healthy Immune Response During Pregnancy

Another common question is whether COVID-19 vaccines protect pregnant patients the way they do other people. Yes, they do. A study specifically focusing on the mRNA vaccines (Moderna and Pfizer) not only found that people who were pregnant produced antibodies when vaccinated, but it also showed that vaccinated pregnant patients had higher antibody levels than pregnant patients who had contracted COVID-19 and developed antibodies that way.

In addition, the data on pregnant people who get vaccinated suggests that the side effects that they experience from the vaccine are comparable to those of people who aren’t pregnant. And those mild side effects don’t put unborn babies at risk. 

Schedule Your COVID-19 Vaccine Today

If you’re pregnant and have questions about COVID-19 vaccines and your health specifically or your baby’s health, don’t hesitate to talk with your doctor. They’re happy to talk with you about the available vaccination data and the specifics of your pregnancy. 

Once you’ve learned that the COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective during pregnancy, schedule your vaccination as soon as possible to ensure you and your baby are protected. Plus, an added benefit is that your immunity helps protect your friends, family, and community. If you have questions about COVID-19, vaccines, or prenatal care and delivery, ask your Baptist Health physician. If you don’t have a physician, you can find a provider near you using our online directory.

Next Steps and Useful Resources

Find a Provider
Schedule a Vaccine Appointment
Tips for Bringing Home Baby During COVID-19
Fact or Fiction? Pregnancy Myths Answered

Learn More.