When the COVID-19 pandemic started doctors were particularly concerned for pregnant women and how the disease would impact them and their unborn babies. Now, well over a year since the first cases worldwide, COVID-19 vaccination has helped this vulnerable group stay out of hospital. With vaccination rates rapidly rising across the country, healthcare professionals are calling on expectant mothers to do what they can to minimise risks.
Pregnant women know to be cautious about their health, however with coronavirus cases still surging worldwide experts are asking them to consider an extra layer of defence.
Dr Vijay Roach, President of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, says vaccination against COVID-19 will help prevent an unnecessarily risky situation for both the mother and the baby.
- Dr Clare Whitehead, obstetrician and Senior Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne says for those pregnant women that end up in hospital the chances of further complications increase.
- Experience from overseas suggests that pregnant women with COVID-19 have a higher risk of stillbirth or premature delivery.
- Dr Alison Fung, a maternal fetal medicine sub specialist at the Mercy Hospital for Women, says couples who are planning children should both be vaccinated against COVID-19 even before they conceive. Women who have just given birth, with breastfeeding mothers encouraged to get the shot in hopes of passing on antibodies to newest, and smallest, member of the family.
"That's the most important message to get across. Which is that COVID-19 and pregnancy is bad. So then, while we do have some treatments for COVID, ultimately the only thing you can do is not get the disease. And the only thing that we've got now to reduce your risk of developing the disease is vaccination, " said Dr Vijay Roach.