Vaccines for Pregnancy
The CDC has guidelines for the vaccines you need before, during, and after pregnancy.
- Some vaccine-preventable diseases, such as rubella, can pose a serious risk to your health and that of your developing baby.
- You should get some vaccines, like Tdap (to protect against whooping cough), during your pregnancy so your baby will have short-term protection at birth.
- Pregnant people, their unborn babies, and newborns have a higher risk of serious illness and complications from the flu. Getting the flu vaccine can protect the pregnant person and their baby. It can also prevent the spread of the flu from parent to child after delivery. Routine influenza vaccination is recommended for all persons who are or will be pregnant (in any trimester) during influenza season, which in the United States is usually early October through late March. Also, if you develop flu-like illness symptoms while pregnant, do not wait to contact your healthcare provider. You may need to start antiviral treatment (such as Tamiflu) to help prevent more serious illness.
You can also provide indirect protection to your baby by ensuring everyone around them is up to date on their Tdap and flu vaccinations. When your baby’s family members and caregivers get vaccinated, they are not only protecting their own health, but also helping form a "cocoon" of disease protection around the baby during the first few months of life. It is safe to receive vaccines right after giving birth, even while breastfeeding. Be sure to discuss vaccination with your healthcare professional.