Vaccinations also protect you from getting a serious disease that could affect future pregnancies. You probably got vaccinations as a child. But they don’t always protect you for your entire life. Or there may be new vaccinations that weren’t available when you were young. Over time, some childhood vaccinations stop working, so you may need what’s called a booster shot as an adult.
Here are some vaccines that are recommended before pregnancy:
• Flu. Get the flu shot once a year during the flu season (October through May). It protects you and your baby against both seasonal flu and H1N1, a kind of flu that spread around the world in 2009. If you come down with the flu during pregnancy, you’re more likely than other adults to have serious complications, such as pneumonia.
• HPV. This vaccine protects against the infection that causes genital warts. The infection also may lead to cervical cancer. The CDC recommends that women up to age 26 get the HPV vaccine.
• MMR. This vaccine protects you against the measles, mumps and rubella. Measles can be harmful to pregnant women and cause miscarriage.
• Tdap. This vaccine prevents pertussis (also called whooping cough). Pertussis is easily spread and very dangerous for a baby. If you’re thinking about getting pregnant, ask your provider about getting the Tdap vaccine.
• Varicella. Chickenpox is an infection that causes itchy skin, rash and fever. It’s easily spread and can cause birth defects if you get it during pregnancy. It’s also very dangerous to a baby. If you’re thinking about getting pregnant and you never had the chickenpox or the vaccine, tell your provider.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends two vaccinations during pregnancy:
1. Flu vaccine if you weren’t vaccinated before pregnancy
2. Tdap vaccine during each pregnancy at 27 to 36 weeks
Not all vaccinations are safe to get during pregnancy. Do not get these vaccines during pregnancy:
• BCG (tuberculosis)
• Nasal spray flu vaccine (called LAIV). Pregnant women can get the flu shot, which is made with killed viruses.
If you didn’t get the Tdap vaccine before or during pregnancy, you can get it right after you give birth. Getting the Tdap vaccine soon after giving birth prevents you from getting pertussis and passing it on to your baby. This vaccine is also recommended for caregivers, close friends, and relatives who spend time with your baby. Your baby should get his first pertussis vaccine at 2 months old. Babies may not be fully protected until they’ve had three doses.
Here’s a link to a chart to help you know when you can get certain vaccinations if you need them. Talk to your health care provider about vaccinations you need before, during or after pregnancy.Tags: Tdap vaccine, vaccination during pregnancy, vaccines