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2 women share why they got vaccinated before pregnancy

On Wednesday, the CDC updated guidance to now recommend women who are pregnant, or trying to get pregnant, get the vaccine.

DENVER — This week, the CDC updated its guidance to now formally recommend the COVID19 vaccine for pregnant women.

Doctors say some pregnant patients are still on the fence, while other women decided early, even before they were pregnant, to get the shot.

“I am pregnant with my first baby, 29 weeks pregnant this week, so, very excited,” said Melissa Shields, who is the Director of Oncology at Sky Ridge Medical Center.

As a healthcare worker, Shields was eligible for her shot last winter. She was eager to get it, even while she and her husband were trying to start a family.

“It really came down to, if I got vaccinated, I knew it would help protect me if I did end up getting COVID,” she said. “It wouldn’t be as severe of an illness. That was really the driving force. To protect me, my unborn baby, my friends and family.”

Credit: Melissa Shields

Shields said her doctor also encouraged her to get the shot. She found out she was pregnant just a few weeks after her second dose.

“It is reassuring knowing that if I were to still contract COVID that I would be a less severe form of it. The guidance is really – the risks of getting COVID are worse than if you were not vaccinated.”

RELATED: Do the COVID-19 vaccines affect my chances of pregnancy?

Pregnant women were not part of the initial vaccine trials that led to the shot getting emergency authorization.

But the CDC has studied data collected since, and found no evidence of an increased risk of miscarriage or infertility among women who got the shot.

“I’m the perfect case study to say that it has nothing to do with infertility,” Shields chuckled, while pointing to her stomach.

She and her husband found out their baby is a boy, and due in October. They have already picked out a name – Greyson.

“Up to this point, everything’s been happy and healthy, and easy pregnancy,” she said.

Emma Waymire is the Director of Infection Prevention at Presbyterian / St. Luke’s Medical Center and Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children. In December, she helped organize the hospital's vaccine clinic where staff and physicians could get vaccinated against COVID19.

She, too, got vaccinated during that timeframe.

"About a month after my second vaccine I found out I was pregnant with my first baby,” Wayfair said.

“We’re super excited. I am 8 months [pregnant] and due October 1.”

Credit: KUSA

Like Shields, Waymire was eager to get the shot even while trying to get pregnant.

“I have a lot of colleagues who work in infectious disease, epidemiology, public health, pharmacy… so I was able to talk to a lot of folks, and look at the data. And I really felt the efficacy of the vaccine was there. The safety was there. And I really thought the risk and benefit was in the favor of getting vaccinated,” she said.

“So it was easy for me to decide to get vaccinated while I was trying to become pregnant.”

RELATED: CDC has new COVID vaccine recommendations for pregnant women

Waymire said her decision wasn’t just about her own health, but about the health of her future baby.

“Feeling that I’m protecting my baby is probably the most important gift I can give him. Not just while I’m pregnant, so I don’t get sick while I’m pregnant, but once he’s born. He won’t be able to be vaccinated, but I’m less likely to bring infections home from work to him,” she said. “My friends and family who visit and will be around him once he’s born will all be vaccinated, and to know he’s protected is just such a huge benefit.”

Credit: Emma Waymire

“The question I like best is – what would you tell your daughter?” said Dr. Greg Lindsay, an OBGYN who specializes in maternal fetal medicine and high risk obstetrics.

“I told my daughter I would absolutely get it. And I tell patients strongly – we recommend it.”

Dr. Lindsay has seen the worst case scenario: pregnant women admitted to the ICU and put on ventilators. He called vaccines “life-saving,” and wants to correct misinformation he knows has affected some patients decisions.

“The CDC recommends it now and we’re thrilled they came out and supported that," Dr. Lindsay said.

“The Society of Maternal Fetal Medicine, and American College of OBGYN have come out with a strong statement and said that – women should get vaccinated. And that the risks that have been tossed around out there haven’t materialized. And there’s been a huge benefits coming from [the vaccine].”

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