Responding to the Coronavirus Pandemic

We know that the COVID-19 guidelines for in-office visits have been difficult to adjust to. We have always loved seeing new moms with their babies, and we miss that! However, we must ask our patients to arrange childcare before their appointment. Please do not leave your children unattended in the lobby of our building.

All too often these days, when someone is upset or doesn’t understand the rationale behind our rules, they take to social media to complain.  This is called electronic aggression.  People feel some level of satisfaction after they put their complaint forward; they feel like they have struck a blow at the person or company who didn’t give them what they wanted or made them mad.  But what can happen next can change relationships, harm other social media users and have legal consequences.

Because your healthcare is important to us, rude, disruptive or aggressive behavior will not be tolerated in our office or online. 

While we understand the frustration, our hard work adhering to our safety enhancements have paid off. Covington Women’s Health Specialists is proud to announce that there have been NO COVID-19 infections from our offices! Our doctors are fully vaccinated. Our success is directly related to adherence to our COVID-19 precautions, which were developed to adhere to CDC and Piedmont Healthcare guidelines. 

Thank you for following these rules with us! As the vaccine rollout continues, we still need your continued support and cooperation. Let’s continue to protect each other.

Guide for an Adolescent’s First Visit with a Gynecologist

 * Understand, Your Minor Daughter Has Rights Concerning Her Reproductive Health.*

Last month we shared the benefits of annual OBYGN visits for grown women, but is it the same for teens and tweens? Puberty, after all, can be a confusing time saddled with overwhelming change — do you need to add a new appointment (that may be uncomfortable or awkward) to the mix?

Early Conversations Will Help

Confronting issues in conversation, rather than avoiding them, often helps diffuse any fear or awkwardness (even if it’s hard at first). The topic of body changes is no exception. In a recent Parenting article, Dr. Rebecca Unger recommends that talks with girls about their bodies  “should be open, honest and continuous . . . starting at an early age.”

The Mayo Clinic also suggests “The earlier you begin talking to your child about the changes to expect during puberty, the better.”

Having regular, honest, informative discussions about the parts of the body, how they work together, and how they grow and change will help girls feel confidently equipped with information — and can help reduce embarrassment or stigma overall.

So, When to Go?

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists cuts right to the chase — recommending the first visit happen between the ages of 13 and 15. “The scope of the initial visit,” they assert, “will depend on the patient’s concerns, medical history, physical and emotional development, and the level of care the patient is receiving from other health care professionals.”

Dr. Vash-Margita, chief of Yale Medicine Pediatric & Adolescent Gynecology (PAG) further explains in a 2018 interview with Yale Medicine that the initial appointment is meant to educate both patients and parents, and build a relationship with the health specialist.

As during similar appointments with adult patients, the first visit is an opportunity to establish a baseline, and address questions and observations about overall body health and changes. It can also pave the way for open conversations about menstrual issues, puberty adjustments, questions about sexual health, and pregnancy prevention as they arise.

What to Expect

“Girls often think there will be a pelvic exam,” says Dr. Vash-Margita, “which is not true. In the beginning of the visit, I tell my patients that, most likely, they will not need an internal pelvic exam. After that, there is a visible sigh of relief and the conversation goes more smoothly.”

More typically, the appointment involves a general physical exam (height, weight, blood pressure, etc.), and an external genital exam. The external genital exam could also be an opportunity for patients to get involved and learn specifics about each part.

Think of this as a chance for a patient and gynecologist to have a conversation and get to know each other — the first of many interactions in the patient’s journey to overall, long-term wellness. That approach should help relieve any (understandable) nervousness.

Going to the gynecologist regularly is simply one step of many that women can take to maintain overall health. It’s something even a Disney princess can do, as shown in Danielle Sepulveres and artist/illustrator Maritza Lugo’s collaboration on a series of illustrations depicting Disney princesses visiting their gynecologists to raise awareness in 2016 for Cervical Cancer Awareness Month. Beginning this journey at puberty (even if it doesn’t exactly feel magical) is simply one easy way to build and support habits for long-term health.

At Covington Women’s Health Specialists — whether you’re an early adolescent, a Disney princess, a postmenopausal woman, one considering pregnancy for the first time, or have any other health questions or concerns — we care about your entire well-being. Book an appointment with us online, or call 770-385-8954.

*Even if your daughter has not reached the age of 18 yet, she has rights under Georgia State Law.

A minor who understands the risks, benefits and proposed alternatives to certain health services concerning her sexual and reproductive health, may give informed consent. This includes all health care services related to pregnancy or becoming pregnant, reproductive cycle, vaginal infections, sexual functions, without notifying a parent (unless she chooses to do so). Although substance abuse is not a reproductive problem, it also falls under this law.

So, your daughter will be asked if she would like to be interviewed and examined without you being present. While not in your presence, your daughter may consent to or request services that she does not tell you about or that you have not planned on her having leading up to her visit. As a parent, this may offend you, however these laws exist because some young women cannot or would not receive reproductive healthcare in the absence of these laws.

We respect your relationship you’re your child; however, we respect your child’s autonomy in these matters and we will follow the law.

The Importance of Your Annual OBGYN Exam

It’s easy to keep up appointments for things you’re looking forward to. Your annual OBGYN visit, however, may not be on the top of that list. Especially when it sometimes seems there’s conflicting advice out there on whether or not you need one.

National Women’s Checkup Day — created by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to remind women to take care of themselves by scheduling appointments with their health care providers — is today, May 11th!  The experts at Covington Women’s Health Specialists want to use this opportunity to highlight the benefits of an annual OBGYN exam, regardless of your current health status or symptoms.

Screening Time

Over the last several years, guidelines around HPV and Pap screenings — two tests which can help detect early signs of cervical cancer — have evolved. This can make it hard to know whether, or how often, you should be getting one. 

In 2020, the American Cancer Society provided their most recent guidelines for these screenings. In general, they recommend that patients 25 and older have cotests (combined HPV and Pap tests) every five years, or HPV screenings every five, and Pap screenings every three.  (This is slightly different than what the US Preventive Services Task Force recommended in 2018, and what the ACS recommended in 2012, as broken down by the National Cancer Institute.

Guidelines are suggestions made by experts of national organizations and concern the general public, BUT you are the ultimate expert about you!  To help you determine how the guidelines apply to YOU, consider a few facts:

  1. Even if your Pap and HPV are normal, if you skip your Pap for three years, the chance that cervical cancer will go undetected is 1 in 300. This means that for every 300 women with a normal Pap and negative HPV, 299 will be OK if they wait three years for thier Pap, but one will develop cervical cancer. If this is too great a risk for you, then please have yearly Pap smears.  
  2. While the experts say that most women over the age of 65 no longer need a Pap smear, please be aware that about 20% of new cervical cancers are found in women age 65 and older. That’s 1 in 5 new cervical cancers being found in women who are considered “too old” for annual Pap smears!  If you are living an active life at age 65 and older, ending your annual Pap smear may not be right for YOU!
  3. The average age when cervical cancer is diagnosed is 50. 
  4. Human papilloma virus (HPV) only causes 80% of cervical cancers. This means that even if your HPV is negative, cervical cancer can occur.  

Benefits of an Annual Exam

While Pap smears or cervical screenings are vital for monitoring your cervical cancer risk, there are several other reasons to visit your gynecologist — whether it’s time for a cervical screening or not.  Even if you aren’t due for a cervical screening, don’t have any new symptoms or concerns, and aren’t considering pregnancy, there are a lot of benefits to meeting with your gynecologist on a yearly basis.

Your gynecologist is a professional who cares about your long-term health and personal goals. Visiting annually ensures you are both continually engaged in the conversation about your body, lifestyle or habit changes, and anything else that may be impacting your sexual and reproductive health. It’s also a good opportunity to look ahead to physical changes that may be in your future. 

An annual exam will allow you and your health specialist to:

  • Establish a baseline for what is normal for your body, and make comparisons against it
  • Identify changes or problems that may not be detected in a screening
  • Discuss any shifts in vaginal discharge
  • Monitor your monthly menstrual cycle
  • Answer questions and uncover issues around your sexual health and contraception
  • Identify challenges with incontinence 
  • Converse about the impact that stress, emotional issues, or lack of sleep may be having on your health

The appointment also serves as a great time to receive a clinical breast exam — even if you’re conducting self-exams monthly on your own — and also teach you about ovarian and peritoneal cancer symptoms that are important to help you recognize in case you develop these diseases. 

Though it’s understandable that an annual gynecological exam can sometimes be uncomfortable or potentially embarrassing, making one part of your regular health routine will help reduce this discomfort. And because of the atmosphere of reassurance and proactivity they can create, you may even come to look forward to these conversations with your OGBYN.

The experts at Covington Women’s Health Specialists care about seeing you consistently. To make an appointment, contact us or give us a call at 770-385-8954.

Overcoming Stigma Around STDs

Face it, their names are not pretty:

  • Chlamydia
  • Gonorrhea
  • Syphilis
  • Human papillomavirus
  • Human Immunodeficiency Virus
  • Herpes
  • Genital warts
  • Crabs
  • Trichomonas

Most are nearly impossible to spell, let alone say out loud. But complicated phonics aren’t the only things holding people back when it comes to talking about sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Even though STDs have been around since medieval times, and sex-positive campaigns flood our current culture, there’s still a lot of stigma surrounding these conditions.

During April — which also happens to be STD Awareness Month — the experts at Covington Women’s Health Specialists wanted to open up the conversation.

You’re Not Alone (Even in Being Tempted to Lie)

First of all, you’re not alone if you feel tempted to withhold the truth about an STD diagnosis. A September 2020 Huffington Post article broke down the reasons why people may hide their COVID-19 diagnosis, and the same motivations could be applied to an STD: it’s emotional, many are misinformed, and there’s shame and fear of judgment attached.

When it comes to STDs, this especially makes sense, as the general consensus seems to be that having an STD means you are “unsafe,” “promiscuous,” “dirty,” or “unclean.”

But the truth is very different.

True Statistics about STDs

In actuality, according to 2020 statistics from the CDC, one in five individuals in the United States has an STD, or STI (sexually transmitted infection — the infection which cases many, though not all, STDs).

“No one is immune to an STI . . . [they] are more common than most people realize and testing positive isn’t indicative of one’s character,” insists sexologist and founder of SexELDucation, Emily Depasse, in a September 2020 article in TODAY Health.

Dr. Jen Gunter — an obstetrician and gynecologist practicing in California — agreed in a 2019 article for The New York Times: “Why should it be any more shameful to catch an infection from sex than it is from shaking hands, a kiss or being coughed upon?”

So, How Do You Deal?

Even if STIs are far more common than you might think, talking about them doesn’t become magically easier. So, how can you help yourself, and those around you?

If you get an STI, get educated. Being armed with information can increase your confidence and diminish confusion or fear. The American Sexual Health Association has a checklist that runs through fast facts for each STI.

Consider a support group. As is the case with any other support group (cancer, pregnancy, diet, etc.), talking about your fears and feelings with others going through the same thing can be helpful.

Date people with the same diagnosis. If you’re meeting new potential partners, it might feel awkward to bring up your diagnosis. Consider joining a match site specifically for people with STDs and STIs so that the conversation is already started for you.

Talk about it early. Hiding your own truth may breed further discomfort (and possibly spread the infection to your partner). If you are with a long-term partner and unexpectedly receive a diagnosis, bring it up as soon as possible. This will allow you to problem solve together. If you’re newly dating, it’s important to have the conversation during a time before sexual intimacy happens, but after you know this is someone you trust and are interested in seeing more. This 2018 CNN article has good advice about when, and how, to discuss it.

Why Breaking Stigma is Important

Stigma around STDs and STIs may keep you from getting tested, which  — first and foremost — could mean you don’t get treated. Also, many STIs are asymptomatic or may take years to manifest in physical symptoms. This means you could unwittingly pass them to your partner(s). In order to break this cycle, we encourage you to use STD Awareness Month to inform and equip yourself.

At Covington Women’s Health Specialists, we care about your entire well-being. Book an appointment with us online, or call 770-385-8954.

How Your Diet Can Make Menopause Better (Or Worse)

Menopause brings on a range of uncomfortable symptoms. From hot flashes to mood swings, symptoms can range in severity from mildly frustrating to almost unbearable. Whatever your personal experience with menopause, you’ve likely tried at least a couple of techniques to alleviate your discomfort.

While it isn’t a cure-all, there’s evidence to suggest that modifications to your diet could provide some relief for menopause symptoms. Here are some foods you can eat to reduce symptoms, and, just as importantly, some foods you should avoid.

What to Eat to Alleviate Menopause

Dairy

Menopause causes hormone changes that include a natural decline in the reproductive hormone progesterone. Because progesterone is a sleep-producing hormone, you may find it more difficult to fall and stay asleep during menopause.

If you’re not lactose-intolerant, dairy products may help. They’re high in amino acids, which have been linked to better sleep. As an added bonus, they’re also rich in vitamins D and K, which contribute to bone health. During and after menopause, bone density decreases, putting women at a greater risk for fractures, but dairy products may reduce that risk.

Fruits & Vegetables

There are dozens of reasons to incorporate more nutrient-rich fruits and veggies into your diet, and easing menopause symptoms is just one of them. Research has shown that diets high in fruit, vegetables, and fiber are associated with reduced hot flashes, so stocking up on produce has its perks.

Healthy Fats

Chia and flax seeds and fatty fish such as mackerel are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids. These nutrients may alleviate night sweats. (Despite some anecdotal reports, omega-3 has not been proven to reduce hot flashes.) If you prefer to skip the seafood, an omega-3 fatty acid supplement may be worth considering.

Phytoestrogens

Found in soybeans, barley, chickpeas, berries, plums, and green and black tea, these compounds act similarly to estrogens in the body. It’s suspected they may alleviate symptoms like hot flashes, though the science on this is not yet settled. *If you have been diagnosed with breast cancer, please speak to your physician about phytoestrogens in your diet.

What to Limit or Avoid to Control Menopause Symptoms

Processed Carbs

Whenever possible, try to prioritize whole grains over heavily processed alternatives. Processed foods like white breads and pasta raise blood sugar more rapidly, and high blood sugar is associated with more severe menopause symptoms.

Alcohol

Alcohol can disrupt your sleep patterns and may therefore worsen sleep-related symptoms. It also appears to lead to more intense (though not more frequent) hot flashes.

Caffeine

The verdict is out on whether or not caffeine can contribute to hot flashes. Some women feel that their caffeine habit actually reduces their symptoms, while others believe it may worsen them. If your hot flashes are severe, it may be worth temporarily cutting out your daily java to see if caffeine is a trigger.

Spicy & Salty Foods

It should come as no surprise that eating spicy foods could worsen hot flashes. Yet the evidence is limited, so, as with caffeine, you may consider temporarily avoiding spicy foods to see if they contribute to your symptoms. The science on excess salt is much clearer. It can elevate your risk of high blood pressure and lead to reduced bone density, two concerns for menopausal women. You should limit your use of salt to healthy levels.

If your menopause symptoms are interfering with your daily life, don’t hesitate to reach out to our providers. Schedule an appointment online or by calling (770) 385-8954.

Ashley Spears, Surgical Assistant with Covington Women’s Health Specialists, Explains the Benefit of Family Centered Cesarean Sections

* The following patient success story was developed with help from Piedmont Newton Hospital. If you would like to read the original piece, please click here. *

Ashley Spears thought she knew exactly what to expect as she prepared to deliver her second child at Piedmont Newton Hospital with Covington Women’s Health Specialists. As a surgical assistant with Covington Women’s Health Specialists, Spears spends a lot of time in the hospital’s Women’s Services department, and she had also delivered her oldest child at the hospital via cesarean section nine years earlier.

“Even though I’m working in the hospital on a regular basis, my experience as a patient was completely different,” said Spears. “As a patient, I experienced exceptionally personalized care. That’s one of the main benefits of delivering at a smaller hospital and with Covington Women’s Health Specialists. I received the same high-quality, clinical care patients think they have to travel to Atlanta to receive, and I was minutes from home. That’s incredible.”

Spears and her husband chose a family-centered cesarean section for her second child’s birth. Covington Women’s Health Specialists is proud to be the only practice in the Rockdale-Newton-Walton tri-county area offering these Family Centered Cesarean Sections. Just like during a vaginal delivery, our practice offers parents delivering by Cesarean Section the ability to watch the delivery, to see and hold their baby as soon as possible after birth, to enjoy skin to skin bonding, and cut the umbilical cord.

This process allowed both Spears and her husband to have more participation in the birth, including watching their son being born through a clear drape, her husband cutting the cord, and placing the baby immediately on her chest for uninterrupted skin-to-skin time.

“When my first child was born, I remember being sad because I felt like I only saw her briefly before she was taken to another part of the room to be measured and weighed,” said Spears. “With the family-centered c-section for our second child’s delivery, both my husband and I were able to fully engage in our son’s birth and the baby was immediately put onto my chest. It was an incredible experience for both my husband and me.”

Our very own Dr. Cathy Larrimore initiated the Family Centered Cesarean Sections in Newton County more than ten years ago. We’re proud to partner and deliver exclusively at Piedmont Newton Hospital where the Labor and Delivery staff is trained in the performance of Family Centered Cesarean Sections.

According to Spears, once she moved into a postpartum room, she experienced another change the hospital recently implemented; quiet time. Understanding that rest plays a role in healing, as well as gives new families uninterrupted bonding time, Piedmont Newton has ‘quiet hours’ from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. During quiet time, there will be limited disruption to patients to allow for rest and recovery.

“During the designated times, the entire department was quiet,” said Spears. “Hospitals are busy places, so to have those few hours of quiet gave us an opportunity to bond with our son, as well as get some much-needed rest without a constant influx of people in and out of the room.”

If you are expecting or planning to deliver by Cesarean section and would like to see us for your care, please call for an appointment 770-385-8954 or click here.

How to Best Prepare for Delivery Day

When you’re preparing to give birth, it can be an overwhelming and exciting process. There’s so much to do and to think through that you might be anxious about where to start first. Our experts are here to make the process easier for you. Here’s how to best prepare for delivery day.

Prepare, Prepare, Prepare!

As you are anxiously waiting to meet your baby and your due date gets close, make this time productive. Get all the basics completed in your preparation for childbirth, such as registering at Piedmont Newton Hospital where our practice attends deliveries, discussing your pain management plan, and researching cord blood banking.

You will want to obtain and install a car seat in the car you plan to take home your baby after delivery. Also, have your bags packed and ready to go for the hospital. Be sure to know the hospital’s visitor policy, which are probably dramatically different due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

There’s lots of little details to think about when it comes to your delivery day preparation and that’s why we have developed a “Guide to Pregnancy” for our patients.  Check it out if this is the part of the process you’re currently working through!

Educate Yourself

If you know nothing about what it’s like to give birth, it’s vital you educate yourself. We recommend taking a local class so that you can learn from an expert and other expecting moms! When you educate yourself fully, you’re able to make wise decisions for your birthing process and also boost your confidence.

Reach for Others

Giving birth can be a stressful experience. However, you don’t have to do it alone! Don’t forget to reach for others as you get ready to go through this process. Whether it’s your partner, your Mom, or your friends who have given birth before, make sure to let them know what you’re feeling and how they can help. We’re sure they’ll be eager to do whatever they can to make it a positive experience for you! And it lightens the load for yourself.

Focus Mentally

On top of all the physical preparations you make for your birth plan, don’t forget to focus on preparing your mind for what’s to come. It can be easy to get distracted by all the birth stories out there, what worked for other women, and the nerves of the approaching day. That’s why it’s vital to practice your focus skills, your ability to calm yourself in stressful situations, and focusing on the positive.

Doing all of those mental tactics will make a good impact on your birthing process. It’ll help keep yourself nice and relaxed during the painful parts so you can focus on what’s most important: your incoming baby!

 

If you have any more questions about how to best prepare for delivery day, reach out to our experts by clicking here or giving us a call at 770-385-8954.

Balancing Staying Active for Women

With everything women balance, it can be difficult for them to find ways to stay active. However, while you’re working on your career, passions, and focusing on loved ones, it’s also vital that you find those moments to work on your physical health. 

Our experts are giving tips for balancing staying active for women. 

Shift Priorities to Balancing Staying Active for Women

Staying active is essential for remaining healthy, managing stress, boosting your immune system, and many other benefits. Physicians recommend getting at least 30 minutes of exercise daily. If you’re able to, shift priorities around to make time for staying active. Try to schedule everything else around when you know you’ll have time to go to the gym or go running. If you make exercising your number one priority, then it’ll be much easier to find the time to do it. 

Look for Exercise in the Daily Moments 

If you’re too swamped to carve out the time to do daily workouts, then find ways to sneak in exercises. If you’re tidying up your home, add some squats or weight lifting exercises as you move from place to place. Going shopping or meeting someone out? Park further away to increase your steps for the day! Find moments to get up and stretch during work or to take a short lap around the block. These small ways to stay active can keep yourself healthy and happy. 

Find Something You Love and Stick With It

If you’re having a hard time being motivated to exercise, it might just be because you haven’t found the right type yet! If you’re forcing yourself to run and hate it, no wonder it’s a big ordeal to get yourself out the door to do it. 

Experiment with new types of exercise! Try dancing with guided classes. Give weight lifting a chance. Maybe attempt to do cycling. The possibilities are endless! 

Ask for Friends To Work Out With You

If you have a lot going on and don’t have enough time for your loved ones, sneak in time with them by asking them to work out with you! That way you get to be with your friends or family and you also get in exercise that’s great for your health! 

If you have any more questions about balancing staying active for women, reach out to our experts by clicking here or giving us a call at 770-385-8954

Struggling with Mental Health? Here’s How to Help

This time has been difficult for many people with the stress of the pandemic. Thousands of people are finding themselves struggling with mental health. 

However, going through problems with anxiety and depression can sometimes be unbearable. If this resonates with you, the experts at Covington Women’s Health Specialists are sharing tips for those struggling with mental health. 

Speak With a Professional 

Our most important tip is to schedule time to speak with a professional psychologist or therapist. These experts will be able to give you guidance on how to manage your specific mental problems, and they’ll always be there for you during the more difficult times with professional advice and tips. 

The good news is that many local places are offering virtual visits. Search around to see if you find a therapist that will work well with your preferences and schedule. 

Self-Care Methods and De-Stressing 

Negative mental health can often be a byproduct of stressful situations. If that’s the case for you, it probably means you’re in dire need of time to relax. Here are some of our favorite ways to destress and take care of yourself. 

  • Journaling: Writing down your struggles and thoughts can help you navigate experiences when it gets to be too much. Also, practice gratitude journaling to help remind yourself to look at the positive during difficult times. 
  • Physical care: There’s nothing like stepping into a hot bath to relax. Or maybe you love to get a massage and facial done. Either way, don’t feel guilty for indulging in taking care of yourself physically. Whether that means spending some time and money at a spa or just carving out time to do your nails at home, do it, especially if it helps your mental health. 

Work on Other Healthy Habits Too 

It can be tempting to leave behind other healthy habits when you’re struggling with mental health. But sticking with exercise and eating healthy can make a huge difference in your happiness levels. As difficult as it can be, make sure you’re still going outside to work out and that you’re still pilling your plate high with fresh fruits and vegetables. 

Lean on Loved Ones 

During our most difficult days, our loved ones can really be an extra layer of support and love. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your friends and family and let them know what’s going on with you. They’ll be there to give you advice, let you vent, or whatever else you might need from them. 

If you’d like more tips or additional help if you’re struggling with mental health, reach out to our experts by clicking here or giving us a call at 770-385-8954

Questions About The COVID-19 Vaccine As A Pregnant Woman? Read This!

If you’re a pregnant woman with questions about the COVID-19 vaccine, we understand your worries and concern. However, Covington Women’s Health Specialists is here with information to answer any questions you may have and bring reassurance. 

Protect yourself and your baby by getting the COVID-19 vaccination if you are in a high-risk group.  Our very own Dr. Samuels received her first COVID-19 vaccination when she was 27 weeks pregnant and her second vaccination when she was 30 weeks. She is participating in a study that monitors pregnancy outcomes for women who are vaccinated during their pregnancies. The study results will help us all! 

Covington Women’s Health Specialist Dr. Samuels is pregnant and recently received the COVID-19 vaccination.

  • The physicians of Covington Women’s Health Specialists (CWHS), the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG), and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommend that COVID-19 vaccines should be administered to pregnant individuals who meet the criteria for vaccination. 
  • People considering a COVID-19 vaccination should have access to available information about the safety and efficacy of the vaccine, including being advised that the vaccine safety studies did not include pregnant or breastfeeding individuals.  
  • Important things for you to consider are:
    • the number of people with COVID-19 infection in your community
    • the effectiveness of the vaccine which provides 50% protection after one dose and 95% protection after two doses
    • the risk that the COVID-19 virus may cause an illness for you which may have effects on you, your fetus, and/or your newborn
    • the safety of the vaccine for pregnant patients and their fetuses which have not been studied, however since the vaccine does not contain a “live” virus, it is considered safe as are other vaccines that do not contain a “live” virus
  • Additionally, being a messenger RNA vaccine, the COVID-19 vaccine does not enter the area where the DNA is and therefore cannot cause genetic changes in DNA to occur
  • Pregnant patients who decline COVID-19 vaccination should be supported in their decision. These patients as all people should perform other prevention measures such as hand washing, physical distancing, and wearing a mask.

COVID-19 Infection poses a greater risk in pregnancy:

  • In other words, if you cannot breathe, your baby will suffer!
  • Studies show that pregnant patients with COVID-19 infection are at increased risk of more severe illnesses compared with nonpregnant patients. Pregnant women face an increased risk of ICU admission, need for mechanical ventilation, and death compared to patients who are not pregnant. 
  • If you are pregnant, protect yourself and your baby now by performing prevention measures such as hand washing, physical distancing, and wearing an N95 mask.
  • Please also get your flu shot because the SAME logic and warnings apply.

If you have any more questions about the COVID-19 vaccine as a pregnant woman, our staff are here to help. Reach out to our experts by clicking here or giving us a call at 770-385-8954