- Two physicians said they recommend the COVID-19 vaccine for all pregnant and breastfeeding people.
- The only exception is that people who’ve had a serious reaction to a vaccine or part of the COVID-19 vaccine should consult their doctor first.
- If you’re “super fearful,” don’t feel forced: “There’s so many things to worry about when you’re pregnant.”
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OB-GYN Dr. Jessica Shepherd cannot think of a single pregnant person whom she’d tell to not get the COVID-19 vaccine.
“As an OB-GYN, as a physician, as a mom, I would definitely recommend for people who are hesitant about the vaccine to strongly consider it,” she said during a March webinar with Insider discussing COVID-19 shots in pregnancy.
Fellow panelist Dr. Jessica Madden, a pediatrician and neonatologist, agreed.
While there’s not yet have clinical trial data demonstrating the vaccines’ safety and efficacy in the pregnant and breastfeeding population, increasing evidence suggests they’re not only safe, but also beneficial for moms and their children.
The alternative – potentially contracting COVID-19 while pregnant – is more dangerous than the unknown risks of the vaccine.
“I feel more and more comfortable with the information that we’re gaining in terms of being a stronger advocate and a recommender of this vaccine for both pregnant moms and for breastfeeding moms,” Madden, who serves as medical director of Aeroflow Breastpumps, said.
But there are two exceptions.
First: If you’ve had a serious adverse reaction like anaphylaxis to a vaccine in the past, talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of this one – whether or not you’re pregnant. People who’ve had a severe allergic reaction to any component of the COVID-19 vaccine shouldn’t receive it, period.
The other exception, Madden said, is “if you’re super fearful about this vaccine, then you should never feel like you are being forced into making the decision to get the vaccine.”
“If you really are feeling like, ‘I don’t want to do this. I’m just so scared about what might come,’ then please don’t get the vaccine,” she added. “There’s so many things to worry about when you’re pregnant or have a newborn baby and breastfeeding … you don’t want to add that to the mix.”
“I’m a proponent of the vaccine,” Madden said. “Obviously, I’m not a proponent of anybody feeling like they have to get this right now.”