Booster For Pregnant Women

Being pregnant can be an exciting time, but it can also be stressful and tiring. If you are as healthy as possible before you become pregnant, it will help your body to cope with the changes. For example, it may reduce the risk of gestational diabetes and preeclampsia.

Pregnancy can be both exciting as well as exhausting.

Pregnancy is an exciting time, but it can also be exhausting. You’re going to feel tired and you may not have the energy to do all the things you used to enjoy.

The good news is that there are many ways of keeping yourself healthy while pregnant; some include eating well, getting plenty of sleep and exercising regularly. But if you want a natural boost in energy or simply something different to try during your pregnancy, then herbal remedies might be right for you!

Here are some ways to give yourself the best chance of staying healthy during pregnancy:

  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Take folic acid supplements
  • Exercise regularly
  • Cut down on caffeine
  • Stop smoking
  • Avoid alcohol if you are pregnant or may become pregnant (even though it’s legal in your state)

Eat healthily and take folic acid supplements.

Pregnant women should eat a balanced diet, which includes plenty of fruit and vegetables. They should also make sure to include fibre, protein, calcium, iron and folic acid in their diets. Vitamins D and iodine are also important for pregnant women to consume.

To help ensure you’re getting all the right nutrients during pregnancy:

Exercise regularly.

  • Exercise regularly.

Women who exercise while they’re pregnant have a much easier time with their labor and delivery than those who don’t. They also have less pain afterward, and their babies are able to feed themselves more easily. If you haven’t been exercising before getting pregnant, you should start slowly and work your way up over time—your doctor can help you develop an exercise plan that’s right for your body. It’s important not to push yourself too hard or too far; if something hurts or becomes difficult for you, stop doing it until the pain goes away completely before trying again at a lower level of intensity or difficulty. You’ll know when it’s time to back off from working out because your body will tell you so: if something doesn’t feel quite right during a workout session (or even after one), listen carefully to what it has to say!

  • Make sure that your nutrition is up-to-date as well.*

Cut down on caffeine.

As a stimulant, caffeine can increase your heart rate, blood pressure and stress levels. If you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant in the near future, cutting back on caffeine is always recommended. Caffeine is found in coffee (1-5 cups), tea (1 cup), cola drinks (12 ounces), chocolate bars or candies (2 ounces) and some medications.

Caffeine can cause insomnia if consumed too late in the day; headaches; restlessness; irritability; stomach upsets and palpitations.

Stop smoking and avoid passive smoking (breathing in other people’s smoke).

It is important to know the risks of smoking while pregnant. Smoking during pregnancy can cause miscarriage, premature birth and low birth weight. It may also increase the risk of stillbirth.

Smoking during pregnancy is linked with:

  • miscarriage (spontaneous abortion)
  • prematurity or preterm delivery (being born before 37 weeks)
  • low birthweight (less than 2,500g at birth).

Avoid alcohol.

You need to avoid alcohol when you’re pregnant. Alcohol is a depressant and can affect the baby’s development—and that’s not all. Drinking during pregnancy can cause birth defects, miscarriage, premature birth, fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), low birth weight and stillbirth.

The risk of having a baby with FAS is higher if you drink during your first three months of pregnancy; however, in some cases it may be possible for drinking to cause damage even if it happens later on in the pregnancy.

If you’re already pregnant or considering becoming pregnant, think about giving up drinking altogether as soon as possible so that you don’t put yourself at risk of harming your unborn child by consuming alcohol during its critical stages of development.

Keep your weight at a recommended level.

It’s important to keep your weight at a recommended level during pregnancy. You should aim for the following:

  • Weight gain of 25-35 pounds is recommended during pregnancy, and most women will gain an average of 30 pounds.
  • Weight gain that is less than that can be associated with higher rates of cesarean delivery, preterm birth, and infant death.
  • If you are overweight before becoming pregnant, it is generally recommended that you maintain your weight while pregnant (i.e., not lose weight) until after the first trimester (first three months) if possible. Your doctor may want you to gain more weight than normal if there were any complications with your last pregnancy or if you gained very little weight during it or if you have diabetes mellitus type 1 or type 2 or gestational diabetes (diabetes in which glucose intolerance appears only during pregnancy).

Protect yourself from infection and rubella (German measles).

Whooping cough is a serious infection that can be fatal in babies. It’s also known as whooping cough and is caused by a type of bacteria called Bordetella pertussis. Whooping cough is highly contagious, so it’s important to protect yourself and your baby from getting this disease when you’re pregnant.

Whooping cough spreads very easily from person to person through droplets in the air (like coughing or sneezing) that are released when an infected person breathes, coughs or laughs. If you rub noses with someone who has whooping cough, you may get the infection on your hands and spread it to others via handshakes later on without even realising it’s there.

Get immunised against whooping cough if there’s an outbreak in your area or if you’re travelling overseas.

Whooping cough is a highly contagious bacterial infection that can be prevented by immunisation. It’s also known as pertussis, and causes uncontrollable coughing, often with a characteristic ‘whoop’ at the end of each breath in severe cases.

Whooping cough is caused by the bacteria Bordetella pertussis (B. pertussis). The main symptoms include persistent coughing fits that get worse over time, followed by vomiting and exhaustion. The infection often begins with cold-like symptoms such as a runny nose or sneezing before developing into a dry cough which may not stop for weeks or months (in some cases). In babies, especially very young ones who may not yet have received their first course of vaccinations against whooping cough, serious complications can occur—including pneumonia and brain damage—and some babies die from this illness every year in Australia.

Conclusion

Although being pregnant can be an exciting time, it’s important to remember that you’re responsible for the health of your baby. By following some simple guidelines and taking care of yourself, you’ll have a much better chance of having a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.

You can get the Pfizer vaccine at any stage of your pregnancy. 

The vaccine protects you as you are far less likely to fall seriously ill, and can also protect your baby. Evidence shows that babies can get antibodies through the placenta.

If you catch COVID-19 when you are pregnant, you are more likely to become very unwell. 

There is no evidence that the vaccine is associated with an increased risk of miscarriage during pregnancy. No additional safety concerns have been raised.
 
The Pfizer vaccine does not contain a live virus or any ingredients that are harmful to pregnant people or their babies. 

Research and data about pregnancy and vaccination | health.govt.nz(external link)

AstraZeneca vaccine

There is insufficient data on the use of AstraZeneca in pregnant people, so Pfizer remains the preferred choice of vaccine for this group.

Talk to your doctor about whether the AstraZeneca vaccine is suitable for you if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you think you may be pregnant.

Novavax vaccine

There is insufficient data on the use of Novavax in pregnant people, so Pfizer remains the preferred choice of vaccine for this group.

Boosters

It is recommended that pregnant people receive a booster dose of the Pfizer vaccine to help protect them and their baby against the effects of COVID-19. The booster vaccine can be given at any stage of pregnancy.

If you are 18 or over, you can get your booster at least 3 months after your primary course (for most people, this is 2 doses). If you are 16 or 17, you can get a Pfizer booster at least 6 months after completing your primary course.

You should discuss the timing of your booster with your midwife, obstetrician or doctor.

Get your vaccine booster

  • Sarah, 25 weeks pregnant, on vaccine hesitancy
  • Doctor Nikki on pregnancy, COVID-19, and the vaccine

If you are breastfeeding

If you are breastfeeding, you can get the Pfizer vaccine at any time.

Studies show there are no additional safety concerns or issues with continuing to breastfeed after vaccination.

If you are vaccinated against COVID-19, there is evidence that you can provide extra protection for your baby through antibodies in your breastmilk.

Research and data about breastfeeding and vaccination | health.govt.nz(external link)

If you are trying for a baby

If you are planning to get pregnant, you can get the Pfizer vaccine at any time. It will not affect your genes or fertility.

COVID-19 vaccination and fertility | covid.immune.org.nz(external link)

Pregnancy Booster Shot COVID

Immunisation against SARS-CoV-2 with mRNA vaccines remains the most effective way of preventing COVID-19-related morbidity and mortality. Medium-term data show that the efficacy of mRNA vaccination (two doses) is robust for up to 5–6 months, as supported by immunogenicity studies.

1

 

2

 Thereafter, the effectiveness of mRNA vaccines diminishes, and booster doses have been recommended for various high-risk groups. In 2021, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommended booster doses for pregnant and post-partum women on the basis of their increased risk of COVID-19-related complications.

3

 However, data on the durability of immune response in pregnant women are scarce.

Barda and colleagues reported the effectiveness of booster mRNA vaccines in a large population study from Israel.

4

 A booster dose administered at least 5 months after the second dose significantly reduced the rate of new COVID-19 infections, hospital admissions, and severe infections in a cohort of 1 158 269 individuals with a median follow-up time of 2 weeks. Based on these results, the number-needed-to-boost (NNB) to prevent one excess case of hospital admission was lower than the NNB to prevent severe COVID-19 (table). However, for each of these outcomes, NNBs were about 20 times higher in those younger than 40 years, and 10–25 times higher in those without comorbidities, reflecting much lower absolute complication rates. Although these NNB estimates to prevent severe COVID-19 might be an overestimate for pregnant women, who have a two to three times increased risk of severe COVID-19 (compared with other women of reproductive age), even halving these NNBs based on age would mean that more than 10 000 booster doses would be required to prevent one case of hospitalisation or severe COVID-19 in pregnancy when administered 5 months after the second dose. The actual NNB to prevent hospitalisation or severe COVID-19 will be lower in the long term as the study had a median follow-up time of only 2 weeks. However, only in the presence of comorbidity would the NNBs be comparable to those for initial vaccination in pregnancy.

5

TableRate of breakthrough cases without boosters and number-needed-to-boost to prevent one case, by age and comorbidity

4

Hospital admissionsSevere COVID-19
Excess cases without boosters (per 100 000)Number-needed-to-boost to prevent one caseExcess cases without boosters (per 100 000)Number-needed-to-boost to prevent one case
By age, years
16–394·920 4082·540 000
40–6996·7103454·41838
By comorbidity
Without existing comorbidities11·984033·132 258
One to two comorbidities101·998178·81269

Given the current low vaccination coverage among pregnant women, efforts have rightly focused on increasing vaccine uptake in unvaccin-ated individuals. It remains to be seen whether campaigns to address vaccine hesitancy among pregnant women, or ensuring equitable access to vaccination more generally, are more important than the allocation of resources to the administration of booster doses.

6

 Although any individual can decide to maximise their protection via booster doses, regardless of previous risk status, it is important to convey the magnitude of expected absolute effect for informed decision making (table). Algorithms assessing the risk of severe COVID-19 in pregnant women can be useful for triaging the need for boosters,

7

 and for considering women who might be at even higher risk of COVID-19, such as those who might not have developed an adequate immune response to vaccination (eg, organ transplant recipients and those with acquired immune deficiencies), those who might be at increased risk of exposure to SARS-CoV-2 and other breakthrough infections (eg, health-care workers), or those who might be at high baseline risk for severe COVID-19 (eg, those with severe obesity or pregestational diabetes).

The global shortage of vaccines and unequal distribution of the available stock raises an important ethical dilemma for giving booster doses to any group. Unvaccinated pregnant women in low-income and middle-income countries are at much higher risk of dying from COVID-19 but are also less hesitant to receive vaccination.

8

 Furthermore, the absolute reduction in risk following a booster is likely to be small for most vaccinated pregnant women who do not have a comorbidity. Longitudinal profiling of immunogenicity induced by different types of vaccines in pregnant women is essential for informing booster timing. In the meantime, strategies for more equitable distribution of vaccines and reduction of vaccination hesitancy among the unvaccinated are likely to be more effective in reducing COVID-19 complications than offering boosters to all already-vaccinated pregnant women.

AK is a member of the COVAX working group and principal investigator of the PregCov trial and the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine trial. PH is the chief investigator of the PregCov trial. All authors are leading and collaborating on COVID-19 vaccine studies.

I Got Pregnant After Covid Vaccine

COVID-19 vaccines and pregnancy: What you need to know if you’re pregnant, trying to get pregnant, or breastfeeding

March 14, 2022

Share

Topics

pregnant woman getting COVID-19 vaccine

In August 2021, the Centers for Disease Control released new data showing that the currently available COVID-19 vaccines are safe for pregnant people, and issued a recommendation that all people over the age of 5 be vaccinated against COVID-19. This is particularly important due to recent data showing that pregnant people are at increased risk of complications from COVID-19, and as the more contagious Omicron variant circulates in our population, the risk of contracting COVID-19 is higher. As of January 31, 2022, the FDA granted full approval for the Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA vaccine (called Comirnaty) for individuals over the age of 16 and the Moderna mRNA vaccine (Spikevax) for individuals over the age of 18.

Knowing many patients have questions about the vaccine and its efficacy and safety, University of Chicago Medicine reproductive health experts — specializing in maternal-fetal medicine, reproductive endocrinology and infertility, high-risk pregnancies and general obstetrics — answered common questions about the vaccine and pregnancy.

The CDC has indicated that the vaccine should be administered to those who are pregnant.

Here’s what Abbe Kordik, MD, Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology; Joana R. Lopes Perdigao, MD, Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology; Maryam Siddiqui, MD, Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology; and A. Musa Zamah, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, had to say.

Can I get a COVID-19 vaccine if I’m pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or currently breastfeeding?

The CDC and the World Health Organization (WHO) have indicated that the vaccine should be administered to those who are pregnant. Additionally, several professional societies have advocated for pregnant people to be vaccinated. However, if you have specific questions or concerns about your own health status, you should discuss them with your healthcare provider.

While the overall risk of experiencing a severe course of COVID-19 is low, if you’re pregnant you have an increased risk of getting severely ill if you contract COVID-19.

If I don’t get vaccinated, what are the risks of contracting COVID-19 during pregnancy? How does the Omicron variant change those risks?

During pregnancy, the body undergoes a lot of changes, some of which can affect the strength of the immune system. While the overall risk of experiencing a severe course of COVID-19 is low, if you’re pregnant, you have an increased risk of getting severely ill if you contract COVID-19. That means you have an increased risk of hospitalization, ICU admission, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) treatment and death.

Q&A: How COVID-19 can impact pregnancy

Recent data has indicated that individuals who experience severe COVID-19 symptoms have a higher risk of complications during and after pregnancy. Compared to asymptomatic COVID-19 patients, those with severe symptoms were at higher risk for cesarean delivery, preterm birth, stillbirth, hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, and postpartum hemorrhage. A recent study indicated that pregnant people who contract COVID-19 are 20 times more likely to die than those who do not contract the virus. For some people, pregnancy isn’t their only health risk factor – they might be overweight or obese, have underlying high blood pressure or diabetes, or be part of a minority group that is vulnerable to more severe outcomes.

The Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 is more contagious than previous strains of the virus, which means that an individual is more likely to contract the virus if/when they are exposed. As the virus circulates at higher rates in the community, the risk of being exposed continues to increase. The Omicron variant seems to cause less severe illness than previous virus strains, but more research is needed. Some data suggests that while vaccinated people can still contract the disease, they have lower rates of severe illness than the unvaccinated.

While no vaccine is perfect, the COVID-19 vaccines, the mRNA vaccines by Moderna and Pfizer in particular, appear to be highly effective, even against the Omicron variant. A study of the Comirnaty (Pfizer) vaccine in Israel found that it was 78% effective at preventing infection in pregnant people. The vaccines are extremely effective at preventing severe illness and death in the general population; only a very small fraction of people who have been vaccinated end up being hospitalized for a COVID-19 infection.

Have the COVID-19 vaccines been tested in pregnant or breastfeeding people?

Pregnant people were not specifically included in the clinical trials; this is due to historical restrictions on including those who are pregnant in clinical trials. Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, and Johnson & Johnson have conducted DART studies in animal models to determine if there are any negative side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine in pregnancy; these studies are frequently used to make determinations about what medical treatments should be offered to pregnant people in the absence of human clinical trial data. The results so far have found no adverse effects of a standard mRNA vaccine dose on female reproduction, fetal development or postnatal development.

The CDC has been collecting additional monitoring data through their smartphone app, V-safe, and other monitoring systems to solicit reports of side effects following vaccination. The CDC has analyzed this data and found there were no safety concerns for pregnant people or their babies who were vaccinated during late pregnancy. Additional data looking at outcomes in nearly 2,500 pregnant people who received an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine before 20 weeks of pregnancy found no increase in the risk of miscarriage. The miscarriage rates for individuals after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine were around 13%, similar to the expected miscarriage rate in the general population.

If you are undergoing fertility treatments, the current recommendation is to continue the treatments and to get vaccinated.

Do I need to delay getting pregnant or fertility treatments if I’m planning on getting vaccinated?

Current recommendations say there is no reason to delay conception. If you become pregnant after receiving your first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, you should not delay getting the second dose or your booster dose as scheduled. The only possible known risk for the vaccine is the possibility of a fever, a side effect experienced by around 10-15% of vaccine recipients. In animal studies, high fevers in early pregnancy have been associated with a slight increase in risk of birth defects and pregnancy loss. If this is a concern, the current recommendation is that you take a pregnancy-safe fever reducer such as Tylenol if you experience a fever after getting vaccinated.

If you are undergoing fertility treatments, the current recommendation is to continue the treatments and to get vaccinated. Speak with your physician and/or fertility specialists to make the decision that is best for you.

When during pregnancy should I get vaccinated?

In order to maximize protection against COVID-19, we recommend individuals get the vaccine and a booster dose as soon as it is offered.

Can the vaccine affect my fetus during pregnancy or reach my baby through breastfeeding?

The mRNA vaccines work by presenting your body with a small set of genetic instructions for producing the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. Your body uses these instructions to generate the protein, which allows your immune system to learn what it looks like. That way, your immune system can recognize the protein if you should ever encounter the actual SARS-CoV-2 virus and prepare an immune response to keep you from getting sick. mRNA is extremely short-lived and easily degraded; this is why the vaccine must be stored at such cold temperatures and used quickly after preparation. Once the vaccine has been injected into your arm, your body either uses the instructions to make those spike proteins or it rapidly breaks down the small amount of mRNA that’s remaining. It is therefore extremely unlikely that any of the mRNA would be able to get into breast milk or into the fetus through the placenta. Additionally, because it’s so easily degraded, it cannot survive the acidic environment of your baby’s stomach, so the vaccine itself cannot affect your baby.

The vaccine is made up of mRNA, and contains no live virus. Therefore, it is impossible to contract COVID-19 from the vaccine, or spread the virus to others.

Recent data indicates that vaccination during pregnancy may be beneficial to the baby; the vaccine tells your body to provide antibodies against the virus that causes COVID-19, which provide the protection against the disease. Researchers have found those antibodies in umbilical cord blood in people who have received the mRNA vaccines, indicating that the protective antibodies might pass to the baby. As physicians see an increase in the number of very young children (under six months of age) with COVID-19, it is particularly important for pregnant people to be vaccinated to protect their unborn child, as well as non-birthing parents and other caretakers. Surrounding vulnerable infants with vaccinated caretakers helps create a wall of protection against the highly infectious disease.

Will the vaccine cause infertility or damage to the placenta?

There is also no evidence that the COVID-19 vaccine would reduce your natural fertility or harm the placenta or fetus. While the COVID-19 vaccine is new, the mechanism of action of this mRNA vaccine and existing safety data provide reassurance regarding their safety. A recent study published in The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM)’s Fertility & Sterility found no difference in implantation rates in patients with previous vaccination, previous infection, and no previous vaccination or infection.

The president of the ASRM states that “no matter where you are in the family-building process, the COVID-19 vaccine is safe and saves lives.”

Will breastfeeding pass immunity on to the baby?

Multiple studies done over the past year show that COVID-19 vaccines generate an immune response and an increase in antibodies found in breast milk. This supply of maternal antibodies in breast milk may provide infants protection from the illness. With other vaccinations, using the power of passive immunity to protect newborns is shown to be an effective way of preventing disease in newborns. Recent studies have shown that breastfeeding people who have received COVID-19 vaccines have antibodies in their breast milk, which could help protect their babies. More research is needed, however, to determine what level of protection these antibodies may provide to the baby.

Additionally, another study after COVID-19 vaccination showed no mRNA vaccine particles in breast milk after vaccination.

We believe that in the vast majority of cases, the benefits outweigh the risks, and the vaccine is much safer than contracting COVID-19.

Will you recommend that your patients get vaccinated?

We strongly believe that all pregnant people should receive the COVID-19 vaccine and/or booster. There have been no safety or adverse pregnancy- related outcomes in studies of the vaccine in pregnancy so far.

Are you vaccinated?

Some of us are breastfeeding and some of us are pregnant or are planning to be pregnant in the near future. We all have patients, friends, and family that we want to protect, and we are all frontline healthcare workers.

We are grateful to be vaccinated and boosted, and hope that others will take advantage of this opportunity to protect themselves, their children and the other members of their community.

Covid Booster Pregnancy Side Effects

pregnant woman with COVID booster shot

With the COVID-19 pandemic showing no signs of slowing down after two years, the focus has turned to vaccines and vaccine boosters for eligible people, including people who are pregnant.  

While we know that the COVID-19 vaccines are safe for people who are pregnant, what about booster shots?

According to Ob/Gyn Oluwatosin Goje, MD, the COVID-19 vaccine boosters are absolutely safe for people who are pregnant. Dr. Goje detailed further details about what people who are pregnant should know about getting their booster shot. 

Is it safe to mix and match your booster dose if you’re pregnant?

In the fall of 2021, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) that allows adults to receive any available COVID-19 vaccine as their booster shot regardless of which vaccine (Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson) they received for their initial vaccination. 

This extends to people who are pregnant, too, says Dr. Goje. “On December 17, 2021, the CDC advised that either of the mRNA vaccines — Pfizer or Moderna — were preferable for a booster shot, especially with the Omicron variant,” she says. 

If neither of those vaccines is available, though, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is still safe to receive as a booster. 

“Vaccines wane over time so by receiving the booster, you’re improving immunity for both yourself and the fetus,” says Dr. Goje. “You’re doing yourself and your child a favor by getting the booster.” 

Even if you’re not pregnant, Dr. Goje says you should still get the booster if you plan on trying to conceive in the future. 

Are people who are pregnant more likely to feel side effects from the booster? 

People who are pregnant are no more likely to feel side effects than others, says Dr. Goje. “Most people experience side effects with their booster that’s similar to side effects they had with their original vaccination,” she notes. “It’s mostly been body aches fatigue, some soreness, some fever and headaches.” 

Just as with the side effects from the vaccinations, there aren’t any risks to either people who are pregnant or their children from the side effects of the booster shot. Just be sure to stay properly hydrated

Dr. Goje also says that taking acetaminophen (Tylenol®) is safe to take for the aches and pains from any side effects. “We don’t recommend ibuprofen in pregnancy but acetaminophen and, if necessary, antinausea medicine is safe,” she says 

Have any organizations or associations endorsed getting a booster if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding?  

Both the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) have recommended people who are pregnant or breastfeeding should get a booster shot.   

Data from recent studies indicate that people who are pregnant or breastfeeding who received the vaccine passed it on to their babies via the placenta and breast milk. While there’s more research to be done, these results underscore more potential benefits for getting vaccinated and receiving a booster shot. 

If you have any questions, Dr. Goje adds, reach out to your healthcare provider.  

The bottom line: Get vaccinated, get boosted 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *