Vaccinations in Pregnancy

Vaccinations in Pregancy

Influenza (Flu) Vaccine

Pregnant women are at increased risk of severe flu complications. Flu vaccine is recommended to all pregnant women and is safe at all stages of pregnancy. Vaccination in pregnancy also provides protection for baby after birth.

Whooping Cough Vaccine (Boostrix)

Whooping cough is a very serious illness for babies less than 12 months of age.  It can lead to severe complications, permanent disability (brain, lung) and death.  It is recommended that pregnant women be immunized during the third trimester of pregnancy.  The optimal time frame for vaccination is between 28-32 weeks of pregnancy.  These antibodies will cross the placenta and protect the baby in their first few months of life before he/she is vaccinated.  If you haven't had the vaccine in pregnancy you should have it postpartum.  Parents and any other adults who will care for the baby should have a vaccine booster if more than 10 years has elapsed since a previous dose.  This should ideally be done at least two weeks prior to beginning contact with the infant.

MMR (Measles, mumps, rubella) Vaccine

Rubella is dangerous if caught in pregnancy. It can result in serious fetal abnormalities, e.g. deafness, blindness, heart defects and intellectual disability. The best way to protect women and their unborn babies is to ensure women are immune before pregnancy. MMR is given after birth if a woman is not immune based on an early pregnancy blood test. A blood test should be done after immunization to recheck immunity. MMR must not be given in pregnancy and women must not conceive for one month after immunization. The vaccine is safe during breastfeeding.

Varicella (Chicken Pox) Vaccine

Pregnant women with Chicken Pox can experience severe complications and it can be a risk to the unborn baby. The best way to protect expectant mothers and their babies is to ensure immunity before pregnancy. Varicella Vaccine can be given after birth if a woman is not immune based on an early pregnancy blood test. A blood test should be done after immunization to recheck immunity. Varicella Vaccine must not be given in pregnancy and women must not conceive for one month after immunization. The vaccine is safe during breastfeeding.

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