COVID-19 is not going anywhere anytime soon, so what does that mean for expecting moms and those who breastfeed? Current and expecting mothers are faced with the decision of getting vaccinated or leaving it to herd immunity to keep them protected. Keep reading to learn more about maternal COVID Vaccines and what we know currently about the risks.
Will it hurt my baby?
Right now, scientists state there are no safety concerns in giving the current EUA COVID-19 Vaccine to women who are pregnant. In fact, the ACOG urges that the vaccine should not be withheld from pregnant women who meet the requirements to receive the vaccination.  While there is no study to date that has specifically evaluated the Coronavirus vaccine in pregnant or lactating women, John Hopkins Medicine states that pregnant individuals who contract the virus are at high-risk for complications and severe illness.
For women who are breastfeeding, the current COVID-19 vaccine does not contain the live virus. This means, if nursing mothers choose to be vaccinated, there is no need to delay or discontinue breastfeeding, and your baby is not at risk of contracting the virus via lactation. Ultimately, it is suggested for mothers who are breastfeeding or expecting to start the conversation with their healthcare providers about their options. 
To vaccinate or not to vaccinate?
As the current COVID-19 Vaccine becomes more available to the public, people who are at high risk gain their eligibility to receive the vaccination first. Pregnant women falling under that category are faced with a choice. As the COVID-19 Vaccine becomes available to you, here are some options to explore with your healthcare provider.
Things to consider if you are pregnant:
- Getting vaccinated as soon as it is available to you
- Wait until you give birth to get vaccinated
- Modify exposure to the virus and defer from receiving the vaccine
- Leave it to herd immunity
Things to remember if you are breastfeeding:
- You cannot get COVID or give your baby COVID when getting the vaccine
- The vaccine is soaked up by your muscle cells thus will get into your breastmilk
- Your baby may benefit from the newly formed COVID-19 antibodies in your breastmilk 
There are still many unanswered questions about the COVID-19 vaccine and the risks that may come from giving it to pregnant and lactating women, but it is essential to know that some of these questions may be answered in the coming months. In the meantime, closely monitor trusted health websites, talk with your healthcare provider, and consider clinical trials! Learn about how you can get involved today!
If you’re interested in volunteering for Maternal COVID-19 research, we have studies enrolling in South Houston. Those who volunteer will receive access to a COVID-19 vaccine or a placebo at no cost. The best part is, no insurance is required, and each volunteer who qualifies and participates is eligible for compensation. Get involved today and play your part in protecting our future! Learn more by visiting our website.