Vaccination refers to the use of vaccines to prevent diseases. For pregnant women, vaccines can make them and their growing baby healthy. It’s extremely necessary for each woman to have a complete understanding of the vaccination for pregnancy.
General information about vaccination during pregnancy
– Vaccinations help protect both you and your little baby from getting involved with certain infections when you are pregnant. With vaccines, your baby will be protected from infections from his first few months of life to the time that he is given his own vaccinations.
– There are some types of vaccines which are unsafe for pregnant women. So, make sure that you have checked with your health care provider before getting vaccinated.
– Before becoming pregnant, you should be up-to-date on routine adult vaccines.
Vaccines recommended before pregnancy
– Flu vaccine
If you have a flu while you are having pregnancy, you are more likely to suffer from serious complications, compared to non-pregnant women. That’s why you should get flu vaccine before flu season (October through May). There are two main types of flu vaccines, including the flu shot and the flu mist. Both of them are proved to be safe to get before pregnancy. The first one contains killed flu viruses, while the second one contains live flu viruses.
– Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine
HPV vaccination is recommended for girls up to 26 years old. HPV vaccine is important as it can help protect females against cervical cancer.
– Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine
Measles is known as a highly infectious illness that mainly effects the children. If you catch measles when you are pregnant and you are not immune, you may be at a higher risk of miscarriage, stillbirth or pre-term (early) delivery. Mumps, similarly, is not shown to cause damage to unborn baby, however, it may result in miscarriage as a result of the illness and fever. Meanwhile, the rubella virus, also called German measles, is considered to be the most dangerous to your baby if you get infected with it during the first 20 weeks of pregnancy. Besides miscarriage, stillbirth, rubella virus also causes birth defects in unborn babies, such as hearing loss, brain damage, heart defects and cataracts.
– Chickenpox vaccine
Chickenpox, a highly contagious illness, which causes fever, itchy skin and rash. The chickenpox vaccine protects you from getting infected with chickenpox. Women who develop this disease during the first five months of pregnancy are more likely to face birth defect related problems.
Vaccines recommended during pregnancy
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), during the pregnancy, the women should have themselves vaccinated two types of vaccine:
– Flu vaccine
If you weren’t vaccinated before pregnancy, you are recommended to take flu shot. The flu mist is known to be unsafe to use during pregnancy.
– Tdap vaccine
Tdap vaccine should ideally be given between 27 and 36 weeks of pregnancy. This vaccine is created to protect your newborn from whooping cough (pertussis).
Vaccines not recommended during pregnancy
There are some types of vaccine which are unsafe for both of you and your baby if you get them when you are pregnant, such as:
– BCG (for tuberculosis)
– Flu mist