Hmmm COVID-19, where should I even start? It’s been a crazy time of change, challenge, growth and a lot of uncertainty, to say the least! I caught up recently with a good friend who’s in the last few weeks of pregnancy. During our chat she reminded me of the roller coaster ride pregnancy can be. Body changes, emotional changes, social changes, appointments, tests and ever-changing dates. We are both nurses, so our conversation quickly turned to COVID-19, specifically about how she was coping. She shared with me, “at times I felt fearful about being out in public settings with the virus around.” I know, this was a HUGE adjustment for my very social friend. She explained, “On one occasion, I was asked to wait in a busy office, prior to getting my COVID-19 vaccine, I felt so anxious the whole time.” She reflected that the messaging about when to get the vaccine during pregnancy wasn’t developed at that time. As the months passed, she did her best to stay safe, and practiced all the recommended public health measures. It felt isolating sometimes and not the journey she had imagined.
Around the time the Delta variant arrived, new messaging came out from trusted, credible sources recommending the COVID-19 vaccine at all stages of pregnancy (if no medical concerns exist). My friend stated, “I spent time doing the homework, so I knew I made the best choice for me, and my baby.” This mom-to-be carefully reviewed information from the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada, the Pregnancy Pandemic Guide and Public Health, and felt confident with her decision to get the vaccine. She also found it helpful to have “conversations with pregnant friends who were vaccinated, my healthcare provider and new parents who delivered healthy babies.” While chatting with her peers, she learned about a friend from her past who was pregnant, and not yet vaccinated. Her friend got the virus, and suffered from complications and an early delivery. This further cemented her decision to get the vaccine. As you consider your personal risk for getting COVID-19, and having severe illness from it, this resource from the Provincial Council for Maternal and Child Health may help. We know there is a lot to think about.
When asked what advice she would share with others who were pregnant and deciding on the vaccine:
- Do your own homework
- Speak with your healthcare professional
- Talk with people you trust, including other parents who have been there
- Make sure your information is coming from credible, evidence-based research
- Being nervous is normal, ask lots of questions to different people
- Know your personal risks of not getting the vaccine
My friend felt well after getting both of her vaccinations, despite the typical sore arm, and a bit of fatigue. Now that she is vaccinated, outings feel much safer. She is looking forward to her due date and the moment she can meet her beautiful baby girl. I can appreciate what a stressful time it’s been for parents who are preparing to bring a life into this “new” world.
Please know, if you need a listening ear and/or have questions you can connect with us at any time from preconception into the teen years. At HaltonParents we are here for you and your family.
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For parenting information or to speak with a Public Health Nurse (every Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) simply call 311 or 905-825-6000.