It can be really scary to get diagnosed with Covid when you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. Even if you’ve been through Covid before as a family, immune system changes in pregnancy may mean you are feeling worse symptoms, which can make you worried about your baby. If you’re caring for a little one while you’re sick you’re probably feeling physically and emotionally drained.
One of the advances in Covid care is the medication Paxlovid. Wondering if this might be a good fit for you? You’ve come to the right place!
What is Paxlovid
Paxlovid is a combination of two medications, nirmatrelvir and ritonavir. For it to be effective, you need to start it within five days of your first symptoms and take it for five days. The goal of treatment with Paxlovid is to reduce the chances of hospitalization and death for people at increased risk.
Providers have used ritonavir for a long time to treat pregnant people, and it has a good safety profile. We have less information about nirmatrelvir, but expert opinion is that its benefits in helping people avoid serious illness from Covid likely outweigh any unknown risks.
Paxlovid during pregnancy
If you’re pregnant, at the very least your provider should offer you Paxlovid and feel comfortable discussing its risks and benefits given your unique health situation. They will consider your vaccination status and additional risk factors like diabetes, kidney disease, and any challenges to your cardiovascular health.
Paxlovid while breastfeeding
If you’re breastfeeding, then you’re aware that it’s important to check the safety of all of your medications, as many pass into your breast milk. If you have risk factors for severe illness or are not vaccinated, you may want to talk to your provider about Paxlovid.
Again, there isn’t a lot of safety data on nirmatrelvir, so it’s important to have a risk and benefit discussion with your provider. There is conflicting information on breastfeeding safety, and that can be very difficult to navigate. Parents are choosing a range of solutions, including continuing to breastfeed and pumping and dumping. The experts at the Infant Risk Center are updating information as it becomes available and are available for free consultation by phone.
If you have questions or are interested in taking Paxlovid or understanding more about it so you can be prepared if you get Covid, reach out to your provider for more details. They have all the most up-to-date information and should be able to talk through your options.