Expectant moms, their babies, and even those who will be around their babies, may need vaccines. Vaccines help protect mother and baby against serious diseases. It is safe for expectant mothers to receive vaccines right after giving birth, and while breastfeeding. Healthcare professionals should speak to their pregnant patients about getting vaccinated.
CDC has guidelines for the vaccines mothers need before, during, and after pregnancy. Some vaccines, such as the measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine, should be given a month or more before pregnancy. The CDC suggests that women get the Tdap vaccine (to help protect against whooping cough), during pregnancy.
Whooping Cough (Pertussis)
Whooping cough, or Pertussis, can be extremely dangerous to a new born baby. Up to 20 babies die each year from whooping cough, while half of the babies who contract whooping cough require hospitalization for treatment. By getting the Tdap vaccine during pregnancy, the mother is able to create protective antibodies that can be passed onto the baby before birth. This provides the baby with short-term protection against this vaccine preventable disease.
The flu vaccine is another important vaccination for expecting mothers. Pregnancy leads to changes in the immune, heart, and lung functions and can make a woman more likely to become seriously ill from the flu. Flu can also lead to serious problems for the developing baby including premature labor and delivery.
Vaccines are extremely important before, during, and even after pregnancy. It is essential that practices are administering vaccines to expectant mothers that have been properly stored. Storing vaccines at out of range temperatures can reduce potency leading to inadequate protection for mother and baby.
Any practice storing and administering vaccines will benefit from our Ultimate Guide to Vaccine Storage which highlights CDC recommended practices for properly storing refrigerated and frozen vaccines. Download the guide below.
“Pregnancy and Vaccination.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 5 Aug. 2016, www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pregnancy/pregnant-women/index.html.