Vaccines help protect both you and your baby from serious diseases. From the beginning of pregnancy, you and your baby are sharing everything. That means when you get vaccines, you aren’t only protecting yourself, but you’re providing your baby with some early protection too!
The two vaccines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Infectious Disease Society of America, and American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists to get during each pregnancy to help protect you and your baby are the whooping cough vaccine (also called Tdap) and a flu shot. Many studies have shown that these vaccines have a good safety profile; neither of these vaccines are associated with miscarriages.
Whooping cough can be serious for anybody, however for your newborn, it can be life threatening! Up to 20 babies die each year in the United States due to whopping cough. When you get the whooping cough vaccine during your pregnancy, your body creates protective antibodies and passes some of them to your baby before birth. These antibodies will provide your baby some short-term, early protection against whooping cough.
The flu vaccine is especially important during pregnancy. Throughout pregnancy, your body undergoes changes in your immune, heart, and lung functions. These changes make you more susceptible to the flu! Catching the flu during pregnancy can also lead to serious problems for your developing baby, including premature labor and delivery. Get the flu shot if you are pregnant during flu season! It is the best way to protect you and your newborn for several months after birth from flu-related complications. Flu season varies, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends getting vaccinated by the end of October. This timing helps protect you before flu activity begins to increase!
Check out this webpage for more information on vaccinations during pregnancy: