If you’re pregnant, or think you might be, you can have the COVID-19 vaccine. You’ll be invited when your age group are offered it or earlier if you have a health condition or reason that means you’re eligible. It’s preferable for you to have the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccine. This is because they’ve been more widely used during pregnancy in other countries and have not caused any safety issues. You can book your COVID-19 vaccination online. During the booking process, you’ll be asked if you’re pregnant. This is to make sure you’re offered an appointment for the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccine.
The JCVI advice published on 30 December 2020 says there is no known risk in giving available COVID-19 vaccines to breastfeeding women. Breastfeeding women will now be offered vaccination at the time when they become eligible. Although there is lack of safety data for these specific vaccines in breastfeeding, there is no plausible mechanism by which any vaccine ingredient could pass to your baby through breast milk. You should therefore not stop breastfeeding in order to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
If you get any symptoms of COVID-19 (a high temperature, a new, continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste):
Antenatal and postnatal care are very important. It is a mechanism to monitor the physical and emotional well-being of mother and baby and detect early, any possible complications. Women are advised to try to keep existing appointments, scans and check-ups unless they are symptomatic. The NHS/HSE is under huge pressure as a result of Covid19. This had been exaggerated by staffing issues resulting from staff isolating, shielding or being unavailable (due to travel, contact, symptoms, children off school). We are also aware that many pregnant women do not want to attend hospitals as they are concerned about the risk of infection. Most NHS services have reduced the range of care they offer. There is a huge variation throughout the UK and Ireland, and this is subject to continual change. The balance between the care required, the resources available, the restrictions being imposed, and the understandable concern of families makes for a complex situation to manage. You can find more information here:
https://www.rcog.org.uk/en/guidelines-research-services/guidelines/coronaviruspregnancy/covid-19-virus-infection-and-pregnancy/ In Ireland the HSE have also imposed similar restrictions. Generally, maternity services in Ireland already offer restricted choices to women and in the current environment, this is further curtailed.
This will be judged on a case-by-case basis by the NHS hospital involved and will depend on their circumstances on the day. We cannot make decisions on behalf of the hospital, but we will do our very best to ensure your wishes are respected. However, we have no control over their decision making and the restrictions they impose. If the hospital refuses to let your midwife in (due to their specific situation at the time), this is outside of our control. Your private midwife will remain available to accompany you for care at home or hospital. In these circumstances a partial refund may apply.
Private Midwives in South London