Get The Right Shots: Which Vaccines Do You Need During Pregnancy.
Your little bun is baking away in the oven and will soon be ready to come out. What else do you need to do to prepare for his or her arrival? In addition to the hundreds of things already on your To-Do List, here's one more.
Are you up to date on your immunizations?
It is very important to make sure that both parents are current with their vaccinations; specifically the tetanus, diptheria and pertussis vaccine (Tdap). Since the newborn child cannot receive the pertussis vaccine till later, immunity is passed on from mother to fetus and helps protect the baby from whooping cough (or pertussis).
The CDC now recommends that the mother receive this vaccine with each pregnancy, no matter how long ago the last one was. Also, since whooping cough is spread through personal contact, sneezing or coughing, it is important that any adult that may come in close contact with the newborn also get vaccinated. This may include caregivers such as baby sitters and grandparents as well. Most vaccines are safe during pregnancy, including the Tdap (usually given during week 27 through 36).
Another vaccine to stay current on is the influenza vaccine, especially if you're pregnant during flu season. The flu vaccine is recommended for everyone ages 6 months and older. Again, the inactivated flu vaccine is safe to be taken during pregnancy, so no worries there. In fact, this would be a good time to get all your family members in to your local pharmacy to get their shots as well, especially if they will be spending quality time with the baby.
It's always good to plan ahead. With that in mind, make sure you are current on all your vaccines before you decide to get pregnant, especially with live vaccines such as varicella (chicken pox) and MMR (measles, mumps, rubella). If for some reason you were not able to get these vaccines before pregnancy, just remember to get them after.
For more information, visit the CDC website to learn about the various vaccines available to pregnant women and when to take them.
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Take care and happy pregnancy!
- Anita Koppuzhayil