There has been a renewed push for pregnant people to urgently complete their vaccine program to help best protect themselves and their unborn babies from the risk of COVID-19.
Hume City Council recently spoke to two local residents who had their first Pfizer dose while pregnant to under the reasons why they chose to get vaccinated.
37 year old Gladstone Park mum-of-two, Fiona Cracknell, had her first dose of the Pfizer vaccine while pregnant with her four-week-old daughter. She is due to have her second dose by the end of this month.
33 year old Craigieburn mum-to-be, Erin Bodsworth, is currently 32 weeks pregnant with her first child. She has also completed her first Pfizer dose.
Did you initially have any concerns/uncertainty around getting the jab while pregnant?
Fiona: Yes, I had concerns originally about getting the vaccine. We have no idea with any medication the effect it might have on the baby. However, I have a lot of trust in my obstetrician, who highly recommended me to get the Pfizer. The reasons were to not only help me, but to give some protection to my unborn baby at the time.
Erin: Yes, of course I had hesitations. Especially regarding how it would affect my unborn son. As soon as it was announced that it was safe and recommended for pregnant and breastfeeding women to have the vaccine, I booked an appointment with my GP to talk to her about it. I wanted to make sure that I was making an informed decision and the right one for me and my family.
How would you encourage other pregnant women in Hume that are a bit worried about getting vaccinated?
Fiona: I would get other pregnant women in Hume to have a good conversation with their doctor regarding any concerns they may have about getting the jab. Knowing it gives your unborn baby some protection on the outside is a huge peace of mind. We get the whooping cough vaccine and flu shot while pregnant, and the COVID-19 vaccine is for the same reason – to help protect our children when they are on the outside.
Erin: I would encourage other women to please talk to their doctor, midwife, or trusted health care provider. There is so much misinformation out there on the internet and it can be enough to put anyone off. We also live in an area that unfortunately has an extremely high rate of cases and getting vaccinated is arming us with a little more protection, especially for our unborn children.
What activities are you looking forward to doing again once restrictions ease?
Fiona: I am looking forward for my family and friends to finally meet my new baby girl. Being surrounded by love and getting help is important and beneficial for mental health.
Erin: My family live in Gippsland and I have been unable to see them for a long time. I just want to be able to spend time with them and for them to visit me when my son is born.
Get the facts:
The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation both recommend that pregnant women be routinely offered the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine at any stage of pregnancy.
As stated by the Australian Government Department of Health, if you contract COVID-19 during pregnancy, you are at a higher risk of severe illness and your unborn baby is also at risk of being born prematurely or needing hospital treatment.
Book your vaccine appointment online, via the Victoria Coronavirus Hotline directly on 1800 675 398 or by speaking to your GP or pharmacist.
Further COVID-19 vaccination advice is available for women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or planning pregnancy.