Pregnant Healthcare Personnel

Vicki Allen, MSN, RN, CIC, FAPIC Director, Infection Prevention & Control

CaroMont Regional Medical Center
Gastonia, NC

January 26, 2024
October 2, 2014
Declarations of Conflicts of Interest:
  • Vicki Allen reports no conflicts of interest.


Immunologic function is normal during pregnancy, and an otherwise healthy pregnant person is not considered to be an immunocompromised host. Pregnancy does not increase the risk of acquisition of infections, and, for most infectious agents, clinical manifestations of infections are no more severe in pregnant people than in those who are not pregnant. Following Standard Precautions will protect healthcare personnel (including those who are pregnant) against most infectious agents to which they may be occupationally exposed. However, because some infectious agents can have adverse fetal effects when primary infection is acquired during pregnancy, there are additional infection prevention and control concerns regarding pregnant or potentially pregnant healthcare personnel. Infection preventionists should understand the pregnancy-related risks of specific infectious agents and appropriate strategies to mitigate those risks for pregnant healthcare personnel. To protect patients and themselves from vaccine-preventable infections, all healthcare personnel should follow public health guidelines and facility policy regarding vaccinations. When a vaccination is contraindicated during pregnancy, it is especially important that personnel contemplating pregnancy obtain the needed vaccines before conception. With an ever-evolving list of diseases and pathogens, both novel and old, the focus on continuing education for all healthcare personnel, including those of childbearing age, should be a top priority in every facility’s infection prevention and control plan.