Which Vaccines are a Must for Pregnant Moms?
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) vaccinations are an important part of a healthy pregnancy, and protect both mother and baby from a variety of harmful diseases and conditions Some vaccines, like the Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) are best given before pregnancy, while others, like the Tdap (which protects against whooping cough) can safely be given during pregnancy to protect both mother and baby from harm. Learning which vaccines are most beneficial – and when you should have them – can help you protect your growing family and improve your own health, too.
Vaccines Given Before Pregnancy
One of the best things you can do for yourself and your baby is to have a pre-conception checkup that includes a review of the vaccines you’ve had and thorough testing to make sure your vaccinations are up to date. You’ll have the opportunity to talk about and test for your immunity to chickenpox and Rubella (German measles), two illnesses that can impact your pregnancy but that you should not be vaccinated for once you become pregnant.
If you are able to do so, having a pre-pregnancy checkup and taking care of any out of date vaccinations allows you to make sure you are at your healthiest – which is best for both you and your baby. Wait at least a month after your vaccinations before becoming pregnant.
Vaccines Given During Pregnancy
Tdap: Pertussis, or Whooping Cough is serious for anyone – but it can be devastating for a new baby. Easily prevented by vaccinating during pregnancy, the Whooping Cough vaccine is usually given between the 27th and 36th weeks of pregnancy. Other caregivers and family members who will be spending time with the new baby should consider being vaccinated at this time as well for added safety.
Flu: One of the best ways to protect yourself and your new baby from the flu is to be vaccinated during your pregnancy. Not only does your vaccination protect you – it protects your newborn as well. Anyone who cares for or comes into contact with your new baby should be vaccinated against the flu as well, since infants under 6 months of age can’t receive a flu shot/
Hepatitis B: The CDC recommends the Hepatitis B vaccine for some pregnant mothers – speaking to your doctor about your personal medical history and risks can help determine if this vaccine is right for you.
Other Vaccines: Depending on your current state of health and the risks you may face due to your existing conditions, lifestyle or travel plans, your doctor may include other vaccines during pregnancy. Vaccines are given during this time when the benefit of the protection outweighs any risk to the new mom or infant and are designed to promote health and wellness during pregnancy.
We’re here for you and your family before, during and after your pregnancy and can help you be as healthy as possible at any stage, from pre-conception to post-delivery. If you are located near the Denver Tech Center, we would love for you to contact us to schedule an appointment with Dr. Eule, or follow our blog for the latest in pregnancy health and wellness.