ACOG Menu
Lorem Ipsum

Vaccines are a hot topic in my ob-gyn practice these days, especially among patients who are pregnant or planning to get pregnant.

Understandably, people have a lot of questions about the new COVID-19 vaccines. Are they safe during pregnancy? If I get vaccinated, how will it affect my baby? Should I wait until after I give birth to get the shot?

It’s natural to be nervous in the face of anything new. And not too long ago, the COVID-19 vaccines were new. But now, we have much more information than we did in 2020—more than a year’s worth of real-world data, in fact.

What the Evidence Tells Us

The data show that COVID-19 vaccination is safe and effective. That’s why I recommend COVID-19 vaccination to all my patients—whether they’re pregnant, trying to get pregnant now or might get pregnant in the future, or are breastfeeding.

I’m an ob-gyn who works at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), where we’ve been quite busy lately:

  • We’re studying the impact of COVID-19 on pregnant women and babies.

  • We’re keeping an eye on the health of the millions of Americans who have received the COVID-19 vaccines.

  • We’re closely following scientific research published around the world about the virus and the vaccines.

Since the vaccines first came out, many studies have been published to help us better understand how the vaccines affect pregnant women and their babies. Here’s a summary of what the research has shown about COVID-19 and vaccination before, during, and after pregnancy.

COVID-19 vaccines work. They are very good at preventing severe illness from COVID-19. The vaccines appear to be equally effective in pregnant and nonpregnant people.

COVID-19 during pregnancy is serious. We know that pregnant women who get sick with COVID-19 are more likely than nonpregnant women to need care in an intensive care unit (ICU), need a ventilator to help them breathe, and even die from the illness. Pregnant women who get sick with COVID-19 are also more likely than those without COVID-19 to experience preterm birth and stillbirth.

Women have safely received COVID-19 vaccines in all trimesters of pregnancy. Based on how the COVID-19 vaccines work in the body, there is no concern about negative health effects for moms or babies. And the research we’ve seen about this is very reassuring. None of the studies has uncovered safety concerns during or after pregnancy. Moms who have gotten the vaccines—in the first, second, and third trimester of pregnancy—have had normal pregnancies and healthy babies.

Studies have found that the vaccines pose no increased risk for miscarriage, preterm birth, or having babies born smaller than normal. These studies looked at thousands of women who were vaccinated right before or during pregnancy. You can read the references section at the end of this web page from the CDC for a list of the latest studies.

There is no evidence that COVID-19 vaccines affect your ability to get pregnant. At this point, many people have gotten pregnant after receiving COVID-19 vaccines. Studies show that vaccinated women are able to get pregnant at the same rates as women who are unvaccinated. There is no evidence that the COVID-19 vaccines cause fertility problems in women or men.

There is no evidence of safety concerns for breastfeeding babies. No evidence suggests that the COVID-19 vaccines are harmful to either breastfeeding mothers or babies who consume their breast milk. The science behind this is summarized by LactMed, a database of scientific information on breastfeeding.

Actually, getting vaccinated may help protect your baby from COVID-19 infection in the future. The vaccines you get during pregnancy or while breastfeeding may help protect your baby. That’s because vaccination produces antibodies that can be passed to a fetus or breastfeeding baby.

The latest research shows that coronavirus antibodies from vaccinated moms can remain in some infants’ bodies for at least 6 months, potentially helping them fight off infection and hospitalization from COVID-19. Reports also show that vaccinated moms have antibodies in their breast milk, which could help protect their breastfeeding babies.

A Clear Message

The more we have learned, the stronger our recommendation has become: If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or thinking about getting pregnant, you should get a COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccination is the safest, most effective way to protect yourself and your pregnancy from COVID-19.

For the best protection, get vaccinated as soon as possible—don’t wait until your third trimester or after you give birth. If you’re eligible for a booster dose, get that too. If you need help finding where to get the shot, visit vaccines.gov. Once you’re vaccinated, sign up for the CDC’s v-safe program so you can help us keep tracking results.

If you have questions about the COVID-19 vaccines, talk with your ob-gyn or other health care professional. My hope is that you will trust us to help you make this decision, as with other aspects of your prenatal care.

Published: March 2022

Last reviewed: March 2022

Copyright 2022 by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. All rights reserved. Read copyright and permissions information.

This information is designed as an educational aid for the public. It offers current information and opinions related to women's health. It is not intended as a statement of the standard of care. It does not explain all of the proper treatments or methods of care. It is not a substitute for the advice of a physician. Read ACOG’s complete disclaimer.

About the Author
Dr. Romeo Galang.
Dr. Romeo Galang

Dr. Galang is an obstetrician–gynecologist and the acting chief medical officer and associate director for health equity in the Division of Reproductive Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). He also co-leads the Pregnancy and Infant Linked Outcomes Team for the CDC’s COVID-19 Response. Dr. Galang serves as adjunct assistant professor of gynecology and obstetrics at the Emory University School of Medicine and as an attending physician at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta. He is an ACOG Fellow.