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Getting the COVID-19 vaccine while pregnant: local mom shares her experience

Published: Apr. 9, 2021 at 6:21 PM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -Mothers-to-be have to make a lot of decisions before they meet their child. One of those decisions currently includes whether to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Universities like Harvard and MIT recently completed a study of the COVID-19 vaccine on expectant mothers and those still breast feeding.

Their findings? Moms are able to pass COVID-19 antibodies to their babies.

For mom Liz York, it’s a huge comfort.

York has been a registered nurse in Eau Claire for the last five years.

When she was eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine, York wasn’t sure what to do. She was still pregnant with her daughter Nora.

“I was about 20 weeks pregnant when they were available, and I rescheduled the appointment three or four times not sure if I should do it or not,” York said. “I was just really nervous.”

Since she has type one diabetes and at times works directly with patients who have COVID-19, York decided to get vaccinated.

Then at 33 weeks pregnant, York had to undergo an emergency C-section due to diabetes-related complications. Nora spent 26 days in the hospital.

York said with Nora’s early arrival, she’s even more thankful she could pass COVID-19 antibodies to her daughter through the vaccine.

“In general, newborns are vulnerable--preemies even more so just being sick, and so it gives me a lot of comfort knowing that she has some protection,” York said.

For expectant mothers still unsure about the vaccine, OB-GYN Jessica Leszczynski with Prevea Health Women’s Care said one thing experts are certain about is that pregnant mothers are at a higher risk for severe illness from the virus.

“It increases your risk of ICU admissions, of stillbirths worldwide, of really scary bad stuff, so getting, you know, the unknown and the fear of getting the infection to me is much more, much more scary than getting the vaccine,” Leszczynski said.

York hopes that sharing her personal experience with the vaccine will help other moms-to-be make their decision.

Even if you’ve already had COVID-19, Leszczynski still recommends getting the vaccine.

Babies born to vaccinated mothers have a much higher number of antibodies than those with mothers who had the virus.

She also said if you have questions about getting vaccinated, it’s best to reach out to your healthcare provider.

Prevea offers additional information for expectant mothers. For that, click HERE. Dr. Leszczynski also recommends checking out The American Obstetricians and Gynecologists website for additional information.

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