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COVID-19 Vaccine Recommendations During Pregnancy, Breastfeeding

January 20, 2021

Planning for the arrival of a baby or breastfeeding a little one is often a stressful time – without the added challenge of a pandemic. There is a lot of advice out there for pregnant and breastfeeding women about diet, activity and the importance of well-being while nourishing a growing or new life.

So what about the vaccine for this population? It’s only natural that parents want to do what best and most safe for themselves and their child.

Dr. Kelly McGonigle, an OBGYN resident at Hartford Hospital, is 24 weeks pregnant. Dr. Stephanie Bakaysa, an attending OBGYN at Hartford Hospital, is currently breastfeeding her baby who was born at the onset of the pandemic. Both have received the vaccine and share their experience and expertise with us — as clinicians and as mothers — in this More Life podcast.

“I call my baby the quarantine baby,” says Dr. Bakaysa. “Going home, stripping off my clothes and showering every day before I pick up my baby — and how stressful that was – I look back and think if we had the vaccine back then, maybe it would have been a less stressful time.”

Dr. Adam Borgida, Chief of OBGYN at Hartford Hospital, joins the conversation and provides important data that every parent or future parent should consider.

  • The Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine and the Academy of Breastfeeding strongly recommending that women who are pregnant get the vaccine and that there is no reason to believe that it affects breast milk.
  • The risk of complications from COVID is higher for pregnant women than non-pregnant women.
  • Pregnant women have already been receiving several vaccines such as flu, Gardasil, Hepatitis B and Tdap.
  • While Dr. Borgida does recommend the COVID-19 vaccine for pregnant women, he does not recommend it during the first trimester.

How to Get a Vaccine

Anyone in the eligible groups can get vaccinated at a Hartford HealthCare vaccine clinic. An appointment is required to ensure safety. No walk-ins are allowed.

People eligible for a vaccine who already have a MyChartPlus account can log in and make an appointment at a Hartford HealthCare vaccine clinic. If you don’t have a MyChartPlus account, set one up on Hartford HealthCare’s MyChartPlus.org website.

If you’d prefer to schedule your appointment by phone, call the Hartford HealthCare Access Center at 860.827.7690 or toll-free at 833.943.5721.

Subscribe to Hartford HealthCare’s More Life on Apple Podcasts.