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COVID-19 sparked major changes in how obstetric care is delivered in the United States and around the world. This podcast, hosted by Veronica Pimentel, MD, MS, FACOG, a practicing obstetrician–gynecologist and vaccine expert who gave birth during the pandemic, explores these shifts for health care professionals and patients navigating the new normal. Hear from moms and obstetric care professionals as they weigh these important vaccination and care decisions while discussing vaccine safety, mental health, and more.

Season 2: Stories from the Heart of Obstetric Care

In its upcoming second season, Stories from the Heart of Obstetric Care, the podcast will shift from focusing on the pandemic experience of new mothers to the pandemic experience of obstetric care professionals. This time, Dr. Pimentel will sit down with obstetrics colleagues to share stories and perspectives gained from working with patients throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. This season’s episodes will provide a space for obstetric care professionals to peel back the layers of their work and share their challenges and triumphs in promoting public health during a pandemic.

Meet the Host

Dr. Pimentel

Veronica Pimentel, MD, MS, FACOG
Dr. Pimentel is an obstetrician–gynecologist and maternal–fetal medicine specialist. She is the director of research for the obstetrics and gynecology residency program at Trinity Health of New England in Hartford, Connecticut. She also serves as an assistant professor at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine and the Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine. Her professional interests include addressing racial disparities in women’s health care. Follow Dr. Pimentel on Instagram @drvero4moms and Twitter @DrVeroPimentel.


Season 1: Stories of Vaccines, Variants, and Parenting during COVID

Becoming a parent is beautiful journey, which can also be full of uncertainty and stress. Add to that navigating a pandemic through pregnancy, birth, and your little one’s first years, and the anxiety can be overwhelming. After all, it’s not just your health you have to be concerned about anymore. Dr. Pimentel works to answer the questions new parents have about how COVID-19 and the vaccines may affect pregnancy. In each episode, she talks with real moms experiencing motherhood in the time of COVID-19 and maternal health experts sharing health information so listeners can feel equipped to make the best choices for themselves and their families.

Jump to Episodes

  1. COVID-19 Vaccine Development and Safety
  2. Maternal Health Disparities and COVID-19
  3. Understanding COVID-19 and Fertility
  4. Dismantling Myths about COVID-19 Maternal Health
  5. The Mental Health Toll of COVID-19 and Looking to the Future

Watch the Season 1 Trailer


Episode 1: COVID-19 Vaccine Development and Safety

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Jennifer Gaines became pregnant with her second child early in the pandemic when vaccines were first becoming available. Jennifer is a Certified Nurse Midwife and shares how she made the decision to get vaccinated against COVID-19. We are then joined by ACOG President Dr. J. Martin Tucker and Dr. Dana Meaney-Delman, lead for maternal COVID-19 immunization efforts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as we discuss COVID-19 vaccine safety and the science and safety of COVID-19 vaccines and boosters, especially for pregnant women, and considerations people should make when getting vaccinated.

Episode 2: Maternal Health Disparities and COVID-19

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Kntrice Anadumaka has a powerful story of surviving COVID-19 while pregnant when she was not vaccinated early in the pandemic. In this episode, Kntrice shares about her experience with COVID-19 and vaccinations, as well as her fears and concerns of navigating the health system as a woman of color. We’ll then be joined by Dr. Laura Riley, Obstetrician-in-Chief at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center and Given Professor and Chair for the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Weill Cornell Medicine. Together, she and Dr. Pimentel will discuss COVID-19 and the health of the pregnant person and baby, including the impact of COVID-19 on pregnant women, especially women of color, as well as concerns around health disparities, breastfeeding, and vaccine safety.

Episode 3: Understanding COVID-19 and Fertility

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Labor of Love podcast

Paige Dempsey is a single mother who got pregnant by undergoing IVF. During her pregnancy, Paige contracted COVID-19. This week, Paige shares her motherhood journey with COVID-19 and how she decided to receive a COVID-19 vaccine while pregnant. We’ll also speak with Dr. Jen Villavicencio, Lead for Equity Transformation at ACOG. Dr. Villavicencio will share relevant information about fertility and complex family planning, while addressing misinformation surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine’s effect on fertility. She will also share other pertinent information for women who are pregnant or trying to conceive.

Episode 4: Dismantling Myths about COVID-19 Maternal Health

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Labor of Love podcast

Ankita Rao was initially hesitant to get vaccinated while pregnant early in the pandemic. Ankita is the Editor at the Guardian US and discusses her experience of gathering credible information and guidance surrounding vaccination while pregnant. Ankita also shares misinformation she hears as a reporter within online communities around vaccination. We will then hear from Dr. Diana Ramos, Adjunct Associate Professor for Obstetrics and Gynecology at Keck USC School of Medicine, about debunking common myths regarding maternal health and COVID-19.

Episode 5: The Mental Health Toll of COVID-19 and Looking to the Future

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Labor of Love podcast

Our last episode features an important conversation with Katie Pederson about her experience surviving COVID-19 while pregnant and the effect it has had on her mental health. We will then be joined by Dr. Pooja Lakshmin, a board-certified psychiatrist and author specializing in women’s mental health and founder and CEO of Gemma. We’ll discuss evidence-based information about the future of COVID-19, key public health recommendations and available data related to the future of COVID-19 and vaccinations. Dr. Lakshmin will also provide tips and resources for women to support their mental health throughout this ongoing pandemic. Follow Dr. Lakshmin on Instagram and Twitter for more resources.



Please find other COVID-19 resources here from ACOG and the CDC:

For ACOG’s COVID-19 Vaccination Considerations for Obstetric-Gynecological Care, visit our ACOG Clinical site.

This podcast (“Resource”) is designed for patients and is for informational purposes only; it does not provide medical advice and it is not intended to replace the advice or counsel of a physician or health care professional. While ACOG makes every effort to present accurate and reliable information, this Resource is provided “as is” without any warranty of accuracy, reliability, or otherwise, either express or implied. ACOG does not guarantee, warrant, or endorse the products or services of any firm, organization, or person. Neither ACOG nor its officers, directors, members, employees, or agents will be liable for any loss, damage, or claim with respect to any liabilities, including direct, special, indirect, or consequential damages, incurred in connection with this Resource or reliance on the information presented. Please visit for more information, including the full disclaimer.

This Resource was supported by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as a part of a financial assistance award totaling $300,000 with 100 percent funded by ACOG and CDC/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by CDC/HHS, or the U.S. Government.