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I'm planning for a family, pregnant or breastfeeding. Should I get the COVID-19 vaccine?

Many women have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine. We're here to answer frequently asked questions, provide resources and share others' experiences. We also encourage you to talk with your doctor to make the best decision for you.


Should pregnant women receive the vaccine?

Pregnant women with COVID-19 may have an increased risk of severe illness or pregnancy complications due to this infection. Data is currently very limited on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines in pregnant people. Limited data from animal studies revealed no safety concerns in rats that received Moderna COVID-19 vaccine prior to or during pregnancy. Studies in pregnant people are planned and the vaccine manufacturers are following outcomes in people in clinical trials who became pregnant. mRNA vaccines are not live vaccines. The mRNA in the vaccine is degraded quickly by normal cellular processes and does not enter the nucleus of the cell. Based on current knowledge, experts believe that mRNA vaccines are unlikely to pose a risk to the pregnant person or the fetus. However, the potential risks of mRNA vaccines to the pregnant person and the fetus are unknown because these vaccines have not been studied in pregnant people.

When making a decision, pregnant people and their health care providers should consider the level of COVID-19 community transmission, the patient's personal risk of contracting COVID-19, the risks of COVID-19 to the patient and potential risks to the fetus, the efficacy of the vaccine, the side effects of the vaccine, and the lack of data about the vaccine during pregnancy.

There is no recommendation for routine pregnancy testing before receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. Those who are trying to become pregnant do not need to avoid pregnancy after mRNA COVID-19 vaccination.

Should breastfeeding women receive the vaccination?

There is no data on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines in lactating people or the effects of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines on breastfed infant or milk production. mRNA vaccines are not thought to be a risk to the breastfeeding infant. A lactating person who is part of a group recommended to receive a COVID-19 vaccine may choose to be vaccinated.

Can the vaccine impair my fertility?

There is no data showing that the vaccine affects fertility. You may see rumors suggesting this, but it has never been shown. Women who were trying to conceive were excluded from the study. We know that most adverse effects from vaccines appear within two months of receiving the vaccine and most people in the study were followed for at least two months. The following statement comes from the CDC: "Those who are trying to become pregnant do not need to avoid pregnancy after mRNA COVID-19 vaccination." Please discuss with your health care provider if you have additional concerns.

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Blog: Should Pregnant Women Get the COVID-19 Vaccine?

Sean Kenney, MD, Maternal-Fetal Medicine Specialist

This a good question that many pregnant women or women thinking about becoming pregnant are asking. As a maternal-fetal medicine specialist, I’ll answer this and a few other questions in this blog.

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Wondering what side effects people in our community experienced after receiving the vaccine? Curious about how they made the decision to get the vaccine, or why they chose to receive it? Read their testimonials to find out!

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