Preconception and Pregnancy

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COVID-19 Vaccination During Pregnancy and While Breastfeeding

Are you, your partner, and any close family members or caregivers vaccinated? 

You and your family may have questions or concerns about COVID-19 vaccination. Reach out to your primary health care provider, midwife or OB/GYN to discuss your questions or concerns about receiving the COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy or breastfeeding.

Safe and effective

  • The vaccines are highly effective in preventing COVID-19 infection and protecting against severe illness.
  • Research has shown that the risks /consequences of getting COVID-19 and having severe illness from COVID-19 during pregnancy are significant, whereas vaccination before/ during pregnancy has no impact on adverse birth outcomes.

During Pregnancy

Deciding to get vaccinated is often challenging - even more so when you’re pregnant and hope to make the best decisions for yourself and your baby. 
Check out this video discussing the benefits of vaccines and the risks associated with COVID-19 during pregnancy with Dr. Stephen Morris. He is an Obstetrician-Gynecologist with Health Sciences North.

Video by Science North

  • Being pregnant increases the risk of having severe illness and hospitalization from COVID-19. This includes both maternal health issues and pregnancy complications.
  • Pregnant individuals can be vaccinated against COVID-19 at any time during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.
    • The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) recommends a complete two- dose vaccine series with an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, such as Moderna or Pfizer, for pregnant and breastfeeding individuals.
    • The Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada (SOGC) state that all pregnant people in Canada should be offered COVID-19 vaccination at any time during pregnancy, or while breastfeeding (unless the person has symptoms, allergies or medical implications that would suggest otherwise).  
    • Vaccination immediately before and/or during pregnancy has no impact on pregnancy outcomes (i.e., no change in the rate of miscarriage, preterm birth, stillbirth, growth restriction, high blood pressure during pregnancy, medical complications of pregnancy or death).
  • Partner and family want to help?  Individuals that will be in close contact with the pregnant person or baby are encouraged to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to protect mom and baby.

While Breastfeeding

  • COVID-19 vaccines can also be safely given to people who are breastfeeding.
    • Receiving a COVID-19 vaccine while breastfeeding should not disrupt your breastfeeding and does not have an adverse impact on your baby.
    • The vaccine itself is not detectable in breastmilk.
    • Antibodies to COVID-19 have been shown to pass in breastmilk after maternal vaccination and may protect your baby against COVID-19.
  • We continue to recommend breastfeeding whenever possible.
    • It has many health benefits and offers the most protection against infection and illness throughout infancy and childhood.
    • Breastfeeding can provide important nutrition for your baby.
    • Breastmilk is not known to transmit the COVID-19 virus.

Before Pregnancy

  • There is no current evidence that COVID-19 vaccination affects fertility.
  • Fertility treatment is not a medical reason that prevents you from receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Several studies show there is no impact of COVID-19 vaccination prior to pregnancy or on the risk of miscarriage or any adverse pregnancy outcome.

For additional information:

Provincial Council for Maternal and Child Health - https://www.pcmch.on.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/PCMCH-COVID-19-Vaccine-Pregnancy-Information-Sheet-2021Oct25_v4.pdf

Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada Statement on COVID-19 Vaccination in Pregnancy https://www.sogc.org/common/Uploaded%20files/Latest%20News/SOGC_Statement_COVID-19_Vaccination_in_Pregnancy.pdf

 Pregnancy during COVID-19

Being pregnant during the COVID-19 pandemic can be stressful. It is normal to feel sad, scared or confused and to worry about your unborn baby. There is currently not enough evidence to confirm that a mother can pass COVID-19 to her child during pregnancy.

Tips for pregnant women to protect themselves from becoming ill:

To speak to a Public Health Nurse, call the Family Health Information Line at 1-800-563-2808 ext 5351 or email healthy.families@healthunit.ca.

 Childbirth during COVID-19

Giving birth during the COVID-19 pandemic can be stressful. It is normal to feel sad, scared or confused and to worry about the health of your baby. There is currently not enough evidence to indicate that a mother can pass COVID-19 to her child during childbirth. Talk to your health care provider to discuss how COVID-19 may affect your birth plan options. Visit the Public Health Agency of Canada’s website for more information on Childbirth and COVID-19

Here are a few tips:

  • Learn how to Protect Yourself from COVID-19
  • If you plan to give birth in a hospital or birth centre, connect with the agency to see what policies are currently in place (example: number of supports, length of hospital stay).
  • If you plan to give birth at home, talk to your midwife if this is still an option and what precautions to take to ensure your home environment is safe.
  • Before leaving the hospital, ensure you and your baby are ready to be discharged home.
  • Follow the advice of your health care provider regarding your discharge plan including a follow-up appointment with your baby’s health care provider.
  • A Public Health Nurse from the Healthy Babies Healthy Children program will be calling you once you are home to support you with your recovery, infant feeding and family adjustment.
To speak to a Public Health Nurse, please call the Family Health Information Line at 1-800-563-2808 ext. 5351 or email healthy.families@healthunit.ca.

 

North Bay

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705-474-1400

Parry Sound

70 Joseph Street Unit #302
705-746-5801

Burk's Falls

17 Copeland Street (by appointment only)
1-800-563-2808