Pregnant and Recently Pregnant Women
- Although the overall risks are low, if you are pregnant or were recently pregnant, you are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19 compared to people who are not pregnant. Additionally, if you have COVID-19 during pregnancy, you are at increased risk of complications that can affect your pregnancy and developing baby.
- Having certain underlying medical conditions, and other factors, including age, can further increase the risk for getting very sick from COVID-19 during or recently after pregnancy (for at least 42 days following end of pregnancy).
- People who are pregnant or recently pregnant and those who live with or visit them are highly encouraged to take steps to protect themselves from getting sick with COVID-19.
Is it safe for pregnant women to get vaccinated?
Yes! Whether you are trying to become pregnant now or want to get pregnant in the future, obstetricians recommend getting vaccinated against COVID-19. It is widely accepted in the medical community that the impact of being infected by COVID-19 during pregnancy can be devastating.
There is currently no evidence that COVID-19 vaccination causes any problems with pregnancy, including the development of the placenta. In addition, there is no evidence that fertility problems are a side effect of any vaccine, including COVID-19 vaccines.
Increased Risk of Severe Illness
If you are pregnant or were recently pregnant, you are more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19 compared to people who are not pregnant. Pregnancy causes changes in the body that could make it easier to get very sick from respiratory viruses like the one that causes COVID-19. These changes in the body can continue after pregnancy.
Severe illness means that a person with COVID-19 may need:
- Admission into an intensive care unit (ICU)
- A ventilator or special equipment to help them breathe
People with COVID-19 who become severely ill can die. See why pregnancy is included in the list of underlying medical conditions that increase a person’s risk of severe illness from COVID-19.Certain factors can increase risk
Other factors can further increase the risk for getting very sick from COVID-19 during or recently after pregnancy, such as:
- Having certain underlying medical conditions
- Being older than 25 years
- Living or working in a community with high numbers of COVID-19 cases
- Living or working in a community with low levels of COVID-19 vaccination
- Working in places where it is difficult or not possible to keep at least 6 feet apart from people who might be sick
- Being part of some racial and ethnic minority groups, which have been put at increased risk of getting sick from COVID-19 because of the health inequities they face
Effect on Pregnancy Outcomes
People with COVID-19 during pregnancy are more likely to experience complications that can affect their pregnancy and developing baby compared to people without COVID-19 during pregnancy. For example, COVID-19 during pregnancy increases the risk of delivering a preterm (earlier than 37 weeks) or stillborn infant. People with COVID-19 during pregnancy may also be more likely to have other pregnancy complications.
See the latest data on birth and infant outcomes among pregnant women with COVID-19.
COVID-19 Vaccines and Pregnancy
COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, Trying to get pregnant now, or might become pregnant in the future. In addition, everyone who is eligible, including those who are pregnant, breastfeeding, trying to get pregnant now, or might become pregnant in the future, should get a booster shot and stay up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines. If you have questions about getting vaccinated, talking with your healthcare professional might help, but is not required.If you are pregnant and have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine
If you would like to speak to someone about COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy, you can contact MotherToBaby. MotherToBaby experts are available to answer questions in English or Spanish by phone or chat. The free and confidential service is available Monday–Friday 8 a.m.–5 p.m. To reach MotherToBaby:
- Call 1-866-626-6847
- Chat live or send an email MotherToBaby
If You Are Sick or Think You Were Exposed to COVID-19
If you are diagnosed with COVID-19, learn about breastfeeding and caring for newborns when the mother has COVID-19. Current evidence suggests that breast milk is not likely to spread the virus to babies.Additional Resources