Corona and pregnancy
Becoming pregnant, being pregnant and giving birth during the corona pandemic can bring many uncertainties. Fortunately, we now know that if you are pregnant, the chance that you will be infected with the new corona virus is no greater or less than if you are not pregnant.
We also see that a COVID-19 infection generally proceeds in the same way as in women who are not pregnant. In addition, there is no evidence that COVID-19 contamination can cause miscarriage or birth defects.
We understand very well that this time demands a lot from you as a pregnant (and from your partner). It can evoke feelings such as fear, insecurity and disappointment. Suddenly you notice that we do not have everything under control and that requires a lot of your adaptability. We want, especially in this time, to stand next to you and unburden you. We would like to keep you informed about the rapid changes surrounding COVID-19 and the measures we are taking for this as midwives, hence this special Corona page on our website. This page contains the most recent information.
Vaccination is safe during pregnancy
You can safely get vaccinated against corona during pregnancy, preferably with the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. Previously, the advice was to only vaccinate vulnerable pregnant women with underlying serious conditions. This has been revised after large-scale research in the United States and other countries. In the US, 90,000 pregnant women have been vaccinated with Pfizer or Moderna with no significant side effects. The Dutch Health Council also sees no reasons not to vaccinate breastfeeding women, because it is unlikely that the vaccines will not end up in breast milk.
Is it safe to get a vaccine against COVID-19 while pregnant?
Yes, the Corona working group of professional associations in maternity care advises in its position Vaccination against COVID-19 on the desire to have children, pregnancy and delivery that pregnant women should be vaccinated with an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna). This position has been revised. Previously, it was recommended that only vulnerable pregnant women be vaccinated, but large-scale research in the United States, among others, shows that vaccination does not cause any significant side effects.
Is it mandatory to get vaccinated?
No. It is not mandatory to get vaccinated. Not even if you qualify for a vaccination professionally.
In which trimester it's advised to get vaccinated?
Vaccination is preferably done after the first three months, although it is now assumed that vaccination could also be done in the first three months. Future studies have yet to definitively confirm this safety.
Can I get the vaccine while breastfeeding?
Vaccination can take place in breast-feeding women. The safety of this appears to be guaranteed because vaccinations are not carried out with a “live virus”. Future studies should definitively confirm safety.
Should you quarantine if you have been vaccinated and have been in close contact with someone who has corona?
Yes, someone who has been vaccinated must also continue to follow the guidelines of the RIVM if they have been in contact with a person with corona. The likelihood of being contagious appears to be decreasing, but this is still being investigated.
Which vaccines are being used in the Netherlands?
Currently, vaccinations are taking place with three different vaccines in the Netherlands: Pfizer, Moderna and Astra Zeneca. The government determines which vaccine you are eligible for. This depends on the target group within which you fit, the moment of vaccination and the availability of the vaccines. You are supposed to be vaccinated twice with the same vaccine. Other vaccines are also expected in the near future, if more is clear about this, we will also mention them on our website.
If I have antibodies for corona, do I still need to vaccinate?
Even if you have had a COVID-19 infection, it is advisable to get vaccinated. It is not clear how many antibodies you have built up after an infection and how long they remain in your body. This differs per person and per infection. In addition, recontamination, although rare, is possible. The vaccine ensures that you build up enough antibodies to protect you against infection. But it is also unknown how long these antibodies persist in the body. For these two reasons, it is therefore advisable to also get vaccinated with positive antibodies.
Are you immediately protected against corona after receiving the first vaccination?
Your body needs time to produce antibodies, which takes about ten days. The second vaccination is necessary to increase the amount of antibodies and to make them stay in your body for longer. So you are not immediately protected, this takes some time. It is not yet known how long the antibodies will provide sufficient protection against corona infection.
Does getting a corona vaccination affect trying to conceive?
The Pfizer package insert recommends that you do not get pregnant during the first two months after vaccination. The Moderna vaccine package leaflet does not contain any advice to postpone pregnancy after vaccination.
The Dutch Midwife and Obstetric Associations indicate that vaccination is possible, because vaccinations are not carried out with live virus. Future studies should definitively confirm safety.
I work in acute care / on a Covid-19 ward / nursing or care home. Can I be vaccinated during pregnancy?
Pregnant women working in acute care, on a Covid-19 ward, in a nursing or care home, will have a bigger chance of becoming infected. Pregnant women seem to have a slightly bigger chance of severe complications due to the COVID-19 infection than non-pregnant women in the same age group. However pregnant women do not seem to be more prone to corona. The possible disadvantages of a vaccine do not seem to outweigh the disadvantages of experiencing corona during pregnancy. The advice from the Dutch Midwife and Obstetric Associations therefore is to opt for vaccination if you receive a invitation to do so. Of course this is an advice, so you have to make a choice about this matter that suits you best. Vaccination is (still) not mandatory.
Pregnancy & Corona
Pregnant women are not at greater risk of becoming infected with COVID-19 then other people and you are not at greater risk of getting complications. However, all pregnant women from 28 weeks onwards are more prone to get complications with any respiratory infection (not just COVID-19), as your belly is growing and your lungs have less space. Fortunately there is no evidence that a COVID-19 infection can cause a miscarriage or any birth defects.
Our normal pregnancy checkup schedule (which is also on the back of your 101 envelope) is the same as pre-covid as we find it important to give you the care you need. Furthermore our measures to prevent infection are up to date and will protect both you and us from catching COVID-19.
Holiday and quarantine
Have you been on holiday to a country that has been given a code orange by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs? You will be in a (voluntary) quarantine for the first 10 days after you return to the Netherlands. This will also mean there won’t be a planned pregnancy checkup during those 10 days. However, if you experience pregnancy complaints, you will of course receive the care you need. Please notify us ahead when you are in quarantine due to any reason (also when it’s because you had close contact to a person infected with COVID-19).
Have you got COVID-19 symptoms?
Do you have fever (>38,0 °C rectally measured) and are you coughing, short of breath or other complaints of COVID-19?
Please don’t visit the practice. Call the midwife on call instead.
020 – 47 000 67 (option 1)
Giving birth & Corona
In the last weeks of your pregnancy you will focus more and more towards your upcoming birth. It’s also important to take enough rest and relax during your leave. The corona pandemic does not exactly make this easier and can raise questions, such as whether you can still give birth where and how you want. Fortunately, the answer is yes. The various professional associations have agreed together that you will still have choice of birthplace.
During labour and birth your birth partner is of course allowed to be present, even if he/she has COVID-19 (symptoms). In most hospitals a second birth partner is also permitted during labour and birth, provided that this person has no COVID-19 symptoms.
COVID-19 symptoms & giving birth
Please inform us well in advance if you or any of your birth partner have developed any COVID-19 symptoms like coughing and/or fever. This enables us to take appropriate measures to protect ourselves.
Postnatal care & corona
Our postnatal care in the first week after birth has been changed back to our normal routine. This means that we will have at least 4 contact moments in the first week. Two of these contact moments are home visits and two are over the phone. The midwife on duty will give you a call (often with an anonymous number, sometimes with the number of the practice) to ask how you and your baby are doing and to go through the checkups with the kraamzorg. During home visits the birth and possible problems concerning (breast)feeding will be discussed.
If anyone who stays with you at home has COVID-19 symptoms, please let us know, so that we can take our measures for ourselves. We understand that you would like to invite family or friends after the birth, however the advice is still to limit this as much as possible, especially as long as the kraamzorg nurse is with you.
We also recommend to plan a checkup at the practice 6 weeks after birth. In our eyes it is important to see you a few weeks after birth to evaluate the pregnancy, birth and period afterwards together, as well as the physical and the mental recovery.
Measures at Verloskundigen 101
Because of the pandemic, the Dutch Royal Midwife Association (KNOV) has set up guidelines, together with the RIVM (National Institute of Public Health and the Environment) which actions and measures are necessary to prevent further spreading of COVID-19. All dutch midwife practices will follow these guidelines.
At the practice you will see we have taken our hygiene measures; the waiting room is very empty and we kindly ask you to wash your hands and wear a facemask upon arrival.
The following measures will apply:
- Please don’t visit the practice if you or one of your family members at home is coughing, or has fever. When this is the case please call the practice to discuss how and when your checkups and scans will be planned.
- Wash your hands and wear a face mask upon entering the practice.
- Keep 1,5m of distance at the practice as much as possible.
- Preferably you come to the practice on your own for a pregnancy check up. However your partner is allowed to join the appointment.
- Your first midwife consultation will be held by Zoom as this appointment will take up to an hour.
- If you’ve had a positive Corona test (also in the past) could you please let us know for (anonymous) statistics.
Questions about the corona virus?
Please call 0800-1351.
Available 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.