COVID-19 & Prenatal Care updates
COVID-19 has offered us an opportunity to think critically about how we see our patients. Here you'll find the latest updates and FAQ's.
Prenatal Care during COVID
In an effort to balance your safety with physical distancing, we suggest this schedule for your prenatal visits, balancing both in-person and video visits. This is only a suggested guide.
For most lower risk patients, the graphic below provides the approximate timing of when and what kind of visit is appropriate. You and your obstetric provider (doctor, nurse practitioner, or certified nurse midwife) can make a plan best suited for you and your needs!
If you have questions along the way, please do not hesitate to ask us 415.353.2566.
Updates: UCSF Birth Center and Outpatient Clinics
We want to share with you important changes in our visitor policy and some answers to a list of our most frequently asked COVID-19, questions.
For the most up-to-date summary of UCSF visitor restrictions please go to UCSF Coronavirus for Patients and choose Visitor Restrictions. For the complete and detailed visitor policy, please refer to the policy UCSF Health COVID-19 Guidelines Visitor Restrictions and Exceptions.
Should pregnant patients wear a mask?
- For the latest masking and precautions in our healthcare facilities visit the UCSF Visitor Policies.
Is it safe and should I get a COVID-19 vaccine if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- Yes. We recommend that all eligible persons, including pregnant and lactating individuals, receive a COVID-19 vaccine or vaccine series. View the Women's Health webinar to access the data on the COVID-19 vaccine in pregnancy.
- Please view the document for ACOG's statement on this recommendation
- Additional FAQ's regarding vaccination, travel, working from home and visitation.
What are common COVID-19 vaccine side effects?
- The most common known side effects of COVID vaccine are arm soreness at the injection site, general muscle aches, fatigue, joint pain and chills. Fever is less common. A persistent high fever (>102F) is a very rare side effect. If planning on vaccination, monitor yourself for fever and if you feel feverish, you can safely manage these symptoms with acetaminophen (Tylenol). Follow the manufacturer's recommended dosing. Please do not take this before your vaccine, only afterwards if symptomatic. Please do not take Ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) if pregnant. Check your temperature 1-1.5 hours after taking the medication. If the fever does not respond to medication or your fever continues for more than 24 hours, please contact UCSF Obstetrics at (415) 353-2566 (Monday-Friday 8 am-4 pm) or (415) 353-1787 (nights and weekends). In the exceedingly rare scenario in which you think you're having an anaphylactic reaction (inability to breathe or throat swelling), please call 911 and seek medical care immediately
Which vaccine should I choose?
- The best vaccine is the one that is available to you.
- The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are 2 dose vaccines, and are highly effective.
- The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a single dose vaccine, which may be most convenient for some patients.
- All of these vaccines are extremely effective at significantly reducing severe illness, hospitalization, and death.
Can I still get COVID-19 if I'm vaccinated?
- Yes, breakthrough cases still occur, but the illness is much less severe and you are much less likely to need intubation and hospitalization.
- Currently, >97% of patients in the hospital due to COVID-19 are unvaccinated.
- Just like other vaccines, the COVID-19 vaccines are not 100% effective in preventing you from getting COVID-19.
Can I get COVID-19 from getting the vaccine?
- No. The vaccines won't give you COVID-19. Some people experience mild symptoms list above.
- This is not COVID-19, it is an immune response and means your body is responding to the vaccine!
- The vaccines play an important role in ending the pandemic. Having more people vaccinated will reduce the development and spread of viral variants.
I'm pregnant. When should I get the COVID-19 vaccine?
- At any time in pregnancy.
- From the available data, there is no recommendation on which trimester to receive the vaccine; it is best to get it at your first opportunity.
- COVID-19 vaccines may be administered simultaneously with other vaccines, including within 14 days of receipt of another vaccine. This includes vaccines routinely administered during pregnancy, such as influenza and TDaP.
- Certain pregnant patients need to get RhoGAM at 28 weeks. This injection can be given at any time, and is not a vaccine. You do not have to space this shot with your COVID-19 vaccine.
I am now COVID-19 positive, can I be seen?
- We offer telemedicine appointments with our providers if and when you are unable to come in person.
- Our clinic also has specific workflows to ensure anyone needing an essential in-person visit obtains the care needed, regardless of being COVID positive.
- A patient navigator will review your case and share with you your specific timelines and plans to come for in-person care.
Does UCSF recommend boosters?
- On Sept 23, 2021, the CDC issued updated interim recommendations regarding Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 boosters to include pregnant and recently pregnant patients in the “underlying medical condition” criteria, making pregnant and recently pregnant patients eligible for the COVID vaccine booster. The COVID-19 vaccine booster is currently offered at UCSF.
- Currently, the recommendation from the CDC and FDA for an immediate additional dose is only for those with health conditions that would be considered as moderately to severely immunocompromised (pregnancy alone does not fall in those categories).
- If you think that you may have a condition that would qualify you for an additional dose or booster, please check with your Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Obstetric, or Primary Care provider. Please go here for further information regarding the CDC’s statement on booster shots. If you qualify for the booster, you can obtain it through your local pharmacy at this time and do not need a doctor’s note for the attestation you will be asked to complete.
- Review UCSF COVID Booster updates
Where can I get the COVID-19 vaccine?
- UCSF and the state of California Department of Public Health are currently vaccinating patients who are 12 years and older.
- Here are the current steps to find a vaccination center and appointment:
- UCSF now offers both Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccinations by appointment or drop-in. Please go here for details on times and locations.
- MyTurn: Start with MyTurn to find appointments. If you prefer access via phone, call the CA COVID-19 Hotline at 1(833) 422-4255 (M-F 8am-8pm, Sa-Su 8am-5pm)
- Check your local county health department as they are partnering with local drug stores and other agencies to supply vaccinations.
- Here are some local county links:
- Alameda DPH: https://covid-19.acgov.org/vaccines
- Contra Costa County: https://www.coronavirus.cchealth.org/vaccine
- Marin County HHS: https://coronavirus.marinhhs.org/vaccine/distribution
- Sonoma County: https://socoemergency.org/emergency/novel-coronavirus/vaccine-information/
- San Francisco DPH: https://sf.gov/get-vaccinated-against-covid-19
- San Francisco Health Network: COVID-19 Vaccine
- Umoja Health Vaccine Pop-ups
- Refer to the UCSF Vaccine Hub, to monitor UCSF's status of vaccine availability
What should I know about travel and Coronavirus?
- Before making any plans to travel while COVID-19 is spreading, talk with your OB/GYN health care professional. Together you can talk about whether your travel is essential or could be avoided.
- We continue to recommend that pregnant patients avoid non-essential travel to avoid the increased risk of COVID-19 exposure, regardless of your vaccination status.
- However, if you decide that the benefit of travel outweighs the risk, then we recommend adhering to physical distancing, mask-wearing and frequent handwashing.
- If it is essential that you travel, together you can make a plan to help you minimize risk. For more information, visit the COVID-19 travel website of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html.
- Consider eating outdoors as much as possible, avoiding large public gatherings, and using a private car/transport instead of mass transport when possible as well.
- Please review the CDC's recommendations here on travelling as safely as possible during the pandemic. Additionally, there are certain destinations where the risk is greater as well, both domestically and internationally. The CDC has travel recommendations by destination here.
Any articles you recommend related to COVID-19 Vaccines, Pregnancy and Lactation?
- View this COVID Vaccine in Pregnancy Reference Guide from the California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative
- Read the ObG Project resources for the current guidance from Obstetric providers for Obstetric providers
- Read the detailed handout from Society of Maternal Fetal Medicine (for Spanish read here)
- Read the infographic from Society of Maternal Fetal Medicine (for Spanish read here)
- Read the joint statement recommending vaccination from Society of Maternal Fetal Medicine and American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
- Read what the Society of Maternal Fetal Medicine has to say about COVID-19 vaccines and pregnancy.
- Read what the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has to say about the COVID-19 vaccine.
- Harvard Health Blog
- Johns Hopkins Health
- Watch our 1/11/21 Webinar: "What should you know about the COVID-19 vaccine if you're pregnant or breastfeeding?"
- If you're undecided about receiving the vaccine, check out this decision aid from Baystate Health and UMass designed for pregnant people. Translations in multiple languages found here.
Additional Patient Resources
UCSF Women's Health has designed and lined up the UCSF Women's Health Webinar Series to keep patients engaged and informed about topics that range from prenatal and gynecological care to fertility care during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Immune Response During Lactation after COVID-19 Infection and Vaccination
Watch the Recording
Sponsored by UCSF Obstetrics & Gynecology, UCSF Women's Health Resource Center, UCSF Family Services, UCSF Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences, in celebration of National Breastfeeding Month!