Vaccines Before and During Pregnancy
October 13, 2021
There are many misconceptions about vaccine safety with pregnancy. Let’s discuss CDC vaccine recommendations to encourage health and safety of both mothers and babies before and during pregnancy.
Before pregnancy share an accurate record of your vaccinations with your pre-conception and prenatal healthcare providers. This will help determine which vaccines you will need prior to trying to conceive. Getting your vaccines will reinforce the protection of you and your child from serious, preventable diseases.
Rubella is one example of a highly contagious disease that can be dangerous if you get it while pregnant. It can cause serious birth defects or even a miscarriage. The MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine is the best protection against Rubella. You can have a pre-pregnancy blood test to see if you have immunity. Most women currently of child-bearing age got the MMR vaccine as children but confirm with your doctor or primary care provider. If you are not up to date with the MMR vaccine, you will need it at least one month before getting pregnant.
During pregnancy mothers pass a degree of immunity to their babies that lasts for a few months after birth. While pregnant, the CDC recommends getting vaccinated against COVID-19, the flu (Influenza), and Whooping Cough.
COVID-19 is a deadly respiratory virus and getting the vaccine dramatically decreases the chance of infection and reduces risk of severe illness, ultimately protecting both the mother and the baby/babies. COVID-19 vaccination is safe any time during pregnancy.
Getting a flu shot during pregnancy is the best way to protect you and your baby against the flu and will protect the baby for several months after birth. According to the CDC, pregnant women are more likely to have severe illness from the flu, possibly due to changes in heart, lung, and immune functions during pregnancy.
Whooping Cough (Pertussis) can be serious for anyone but can be particularly dangerous to newborns. Getting a whooping cough vaccine during pregnancy will cause your body to create antibodies that will provide your baby with short-term, early protection against Whooping Cough. The CDC recommends getting the vaccine early on in the third trimester of pregnancy.
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