COVID-19 Vaccine: LWHA Addresses Decision-Making Process for Pregnant & Lactating Women

Aug 06, 2021

Louisiana Women’s Healthcare, the state’s largest provider of women’s health services, stands behind the positions held by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM) and recommends that pregnant and lactating women have access to the COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available.

Although pregnant and breastfeeding women were not included in the initial COVID-19 vaccine trials, existing safety data provide reassurance regarding their safety. Because the COVID-19 vaccines are an mRNA vaccine and do not contain the live virus, they are not thought to cause increased risk of infertility, first or second-trimester loss, still birth or congenital anomalies. Additionally, there is no evidence to suggest that the vaccine is a risk to a breastfeeding baby.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that pregnant women are significantly more likely to be admitted to an intensive care unit, to end up on a ventilator and to die from COVID-19 than women of the same age and health status who are not pregnant. While the chances of these severe health effects are infrequent, it's important for pregnant women to understand that, generally, your health and your baby's health are more at risk if you contract the virus that causes COVID-19.

“Pregnancy comes with many decisions, and whether or not to receive the COVID-19 vaccination could be the most important one yet for many women,” says Dr. Frank Breaux, OB/GYN and president of Louisiana Women’s Healthcare. “That is why it is so important to have a conversation with your physician to discuss your individual situation and determine which is the best course for you.”

The Louisiana Department of Health is coordinating the COVID-19 vaccine distribution effort in Louisiana. To stay up to date with vaccination eligibility information, vaccine locations, and other important COVID-19 related updates, please visit https://ldh.la.gov/covidvaccine/.