COVID-19 vaccination in pregnancy, lactation, and planning pregnancy

If you are pregnant, planning a pregnancy, or feeding a newborn with breast milk, you may be concerned about whether the COVID-19 vaccines are safe for you and your baby.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that if you are pregnant, if you are planning to get pregnant, or are lactating, you should get vaccinated as soon as possible.

Many of the nation’s leading medical professional organizations agree with the CDC recommendation. These groups of medical and pregnancy experts—including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM)—have also expressed their confidence in the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines for people who are pregnant or lactating. We at UI Health Care also agree with these recommendations and urge all eligible individuals, including pregnant and lactating persons, be vaccinated as soon as possible.

Ultimately, the decision is up to you and will be based on your individual circumstances. You should always discuss any questions or concerns with your obstetrical provider. That includes speaking to your provider about the COVID-19 vaccine and what’s best for you and your baby. And you should expect your provider to respect your decision.

Learn more about COVID-19 vaccination and pregnancy

Should you receive the COVID-19 vaccine while pregnant? In this video, Abbey Hardy-Fairbanks, MD, provides the facts to help you and others make an informed decision.

In the following, you will find more information explaining why the CDC, ACOG, SMFM, and other expert organizations recommend vaccination.

CDC: No evidence of miscarriage among vaccinated people

The CDC recommends that everyone age 5 and older get vaccinated against COVID-19, including people who are pregnant, planning a pregnancy, or breastfeeding. This recommendation is based partly on data that the CDC collected from nearly 2,500 people who received an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine before 20 weeks of pregnancy.

The CDC found no apparent increased risk of miscarriage among those nearly 2,500 people who got the vaccine during pregnancy. Typical rates of miscarriage among all pregnant people range between 11% and 16%. The rate of miscarriage among those nearly 2,500 vaccinated people in the CDC study was similar—about 13%.

ACOG and SMFM: Tens of thousands of pregnancies monitored for vaccine safety

ACOG and SMFM joined with 20 other professional associations in the health care field to issue a statement strongly urging COVID-19 vaccinations for people who are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or lactating.

In their statement, the participating organizations said: “Data from tens of thousands of reporting individuals have shown that the COVID-19 vaccine is both safe and effective when administered during pregnancy. The same data have been equally reassuring when it comes to infants born to vaccinated individuals. Moreover, COVID-19 vaccines have no impact on fertility.”

The following links lead to information intended for physicians, but you may find these sources helpful in your decision-making.

UI Health Care RNs: ‘So you don’t have to worry about getting COVID while you’re pregnant’

UI Health Care nurses Sandy Boyd, RN, and Jessie Accord, RN, share the reasons they decided to get vaccinated.

Vaxx Facts: The COVID-19 Vaccine and Breastfeeding/Lactating

UI Health Care obstetrician gynecologist Miriam Murray, MD, says you can get the COVID-19 vaccine while breastfeeding. That’s why she continued to breastfeed her child after getting vaccinated.

Vaxx Facts: The COVID-19 Vaccines and Fertility

Patricia L. Winokur, MD, executive dean in the UI Carver College of Medicine, says the COVID-19 vaccines show no evidence of causing infertility, and people who have received the vaccines have given birth to healthy babies.

Already vaccinated and want a booster?

In determining eligibility for COVID-19 booster vaccines, pregnancy is included as an underlying medical condition. The SMFM and ACOG recommend that pregnant people receive a COVID-19 booster vaccine at least 6 months after their primary series. As with the primary series, the booster dose should be given at any stage during pregnancy and postpartum.

Last reviewed: 
January 2022

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