COVID-19, Vaccine and Your Baby

From an interview with
Dr. Eric Coughlin
McLeod OB/GYN Associates Florence

“Prior to the COVID-19 Delta variant, we weren’t seeing many pregnant patients with Covid,” says McLeod OB/GYN Dr. Eric Coughlin. “Now with the Delta variant, we’re seeing an increase in the number of pregnant women with COVID admitted to the hospital.”

“We encourage all pregnant patients to get the COVID-19 vaccine,” he continues. “We have not found that there is any timeframe or trimester that is more beneficial or less beneficial. Ultimately, when you make the decision to get the vaccine, getting it as soon as possible is always best.”

“The best way to protect your unborn is to give them passive immunity by receiving the COVID-19 vaccine while pregnant. You will develop an immune response, and your antibodies  – and only your antibodies – will actually pass through your placenta down to baby.

“The vaccine does not increase your chance of fetal loss. There’s a certain unfortunate number of women who will have loss of their baby in pregnancy. The vaccine itself does not increase that rate. Receiving the vaccine in pregnancy can be protective for your baby. “

“I would absolutely recommend whatever COVID-19 vaccine is available to you,” says Dr. Coughlin. “Pfizer, Moderna, J&J — there is not one that i’s recommended over the other. Whatever is available to you is the best vaccine.”

“Once the baby is born, the vaccine is still helping the newborn,” says Dr. Coughlin. “The antibodies created by the vaccine are passed through the mother’s breast milk. This is a good way to provide passive immunity to your babies. Receiving the vaccine at any point during your postpartum breastfeeding gives you some protection for your baby.”

“You do get a greater response after that second vaccine dose, but if you’ve already taken that first dose that’s a great step. The baby is going to get a very good antibody load. I would encourage every mom to continue that protection and offer baby more through breastfeeding, which is, of course, great for babies with their overall health.”

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