Covid during Pregnancy, Labour and After Birth

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General Updates

 

5 Reasons to get the COVID-19 vaccination when you are pregnant

  1. Getting two doses is the best way to protect you from COVID-19

If you’re pregnant, getting both doses of your vaccine is the best way to protect yourself, your baby – and those around you – against COVID-19. Although the overall risk from COVID-19 for pregnant women and their unborn babies is quite low, some women may become seriously unwell and need hospital treatment in later pregnancy. The vast majority of pregnant women who become seriously ill with COVID-19 are unvaccinated.

  1. COVID-19 disease can be serious in pregnancy

While overall the risk remains low, pregnant women with COVID-19 have a higher risk of intensive care admission than women of the same age who are not pregnant. Women with COVID-19 disease are also 2 to 3 times more likely to have their babies early than women without COVID-19. Pregnant women with underlying clinical conditions are at even higher risk of suffering serious complications from COVID-19.

  1. The COVID-19 vaccines used in the UK are safe and effective in pregnancy

It is standard practice for new medicines not to be recommended in pregnancy or for those planning a pregnancy when they are first issued. Now that more data is available, the independent body responsible for assessing the safety of vaccines (Joint Committee for Vaccinations & Immunisations) has updated its advice to say pregnant and breastfeeding women should be offered the vaccine. The JCVI looks at all the available evidence on the safety and effectiveness of the vaccines before making recommendations about who should have them.

The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are recommended in pregnancy in the UK because these vaccines have been given to over 140,000 pregnant women in the US and the data has not raised any safety concerns. At least 62,000 thousand pregnant women in the UK have had at least one dose of the vaccine, also without any immediate safety concerns.

Pregnant women who have already had the AstraZeneca vaccine, however, are advised to complete with the same vaccine. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to discuss these with a healthcare professional looking after you in your pregnancy

  1. The vaccines might offer your unborn child some protection against COVID-19

Research suggests that protective antibodies in response to the vaccines can be passed from mother to new- born during pregnancy and through breast milk after birth. While it’s likely these would help protect new- borns from COVID-19, more research is needed to determine how much protection these antibodies would give or how long that protection would last.

  1. No current evidence of any serious side effects for those who are pregnant or any impact on fertility

The Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA) thoroughly monitors any suspected side effects involving pregnancy and COVID-19 vaccination.

The current evidence does not show an increased risk of miscarriage or stillbirth following vaccination against COVID-19. There is also no pattern from the reports to suggest that any of the COVID-19 vaccines used in the UK increase the risk of congenital anomalies or birth complications.

The vaccines do not contain living organisms that can multiply in the body, so they cannot infect an unborn baby in the womb.

Like all vaccines, the COVID-19 vaccines teach your body to fight the disease and to develop antibodies to do this. They do not have any ingredients that would affect your baby or fertility and the components leave the body within a few days. Most people who contract COVID-19 develop the same antibodies that you get from the vaccine - there is no evidence of fertility problems after having had COVID-19

 

Coronavirus Infection and Pregnancy

Being pregnant or having just had a baby in the pandemic may give rise to many questions. There are helpful information and advice as well as several Q & As on the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists website. You may also find these RCOG videos helpful.

Below are links to important perinatal advice and guidelines during the Covid-19 pandemic from external organisations including the Royal College of Midwives (RCM); Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), Tommy's etc.

Antenatal

Intrapartum (Labour)

Postnatal