December 2, 2021
Photos by: Bryan van der Beek | Words by: Sarah Rodrigues
(Photo above) Ms Sarah Rodrigues, 34, co-founder of Wine With Us, pictured here with her first daughter, Sophia. Sarah is 29 weeks pregnant.
Twenty weeks into my second pregnancy — and at that point unvaccinated — I was inundated with articles and forwarded messages from well-meaning friends and family.
They were either worried that I might catch Covid-19 and become gravely ill, or that I would take the vaccine and Bill Gates would be able to track my every move through tiny microchips implanted in my body. (No need for that Mr Gates, if you desperately need my information, just take a look at my Instagram account.)
Jokes aside, the avalanche of news articles suggesting that I, as an unvaccinated pregnant woman, was taking a high-risk gamble and could harm my baby or potentially die, made for a very stressful time.
Now, I’m no anti-vaxxer. I had always wanted to take the vaccine, but I was contemplating if I should take it while pregnant or wait until I had given birth. The vaccine was, after all, less than a year old and the long-term effects have yet to be determined.
(Above) Ms Sarah Rodrigues, 34, co-founder of Wine With Us, at 29 weeks pregnant.
I had a whole list of questions about the vaccines. My most immediate concerns were whether getting vaccinated would cause me to miscarry, give birth early, or harm my baby while she was in utero.
Google proved a useful resource for answering many of my questions, but the most sensible advice was from my sister, who encouraged me to speak to my gynae. She pointed out that if it were unsafe for me to get vaccinated, my gynae would be the first one to say so.
It was only after a very long visit, during which my gynae answered all my questions and assured me, multiple times, that at 23 weeks it was perfectly safe for me to take the Covid-19 vaccine, that I was comfortable enough to go ahead with it.
The worst advice I got was very morbid, so I’d rather not share it. But the bottom line is this: Stop pressuring pregnant women about getting vaccinated. Yes, it is important to get vaccinated if you are able to, but as pregnant women, it is only natural to be cautious and want to protect your unborn child, especially when introducing a vaccine that hasn’t been around very long.
(Above) Mum and musician, Sarah X. Miracle shares what it’s like to be pregnant during the pandemic, and offers some advice on how others can support their pregnant daughters, relatives, or friends through vaccination. VIDEO BY: STACEY RODRIGUES & SERENE GOH
TL;DR. What’s the big takeaway here?
- Your concerns about the vaccine are valid and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Schedule a visit with your gynae and talk through your concerns before making your decision. Your gynae is the only one who can tell you if and when you can take the vaccine.
- The decision to get vaccinated is not an easy one, especially when there are so many conflicting points of view. But the fact of the matter is, Covid-19 poses a threat to both mother and baby, and getting vaccinated can help mitigate that risk. If you’re unsure, consult your gynae!
- There are no microchips in the vaccine, it will not make you magnetic, the mRNA vaccines are not going to rewrite your DNA, and the vaccines are not causing the Covid-19 variants. There is no truth to these conspiracy theories, but if you are really worried, ask your gynae.
- Morning sickness, heartburn, and insane belly itch aside, pregnancy has really been the best time in my life. I liked it so much the first time that I decided to do it again. I mean, there is literally no other time in your life where you can demolish a pasta, half a pizza, and an entire pint of ice cream without worrying about putting on weight. So, don’t let all the COVID-19 WhatsApp warriors get you down. Speak to your gynae.
- And finally, trust your gut and your gynae!