Immunizations During Pregnancy

English TdapTdap every pregnancy, flu shot every year. #VaxFor2.

Doctors recommend that pregnant women get a dose of Tdap vaccine each pregnancy, and a flu shot if you are pregnant during flu season.

Why should I #VaxFor2 and get the flu and Tdap vaccines while I’m pregnant?

Protect Yourself: When you get vaccinated, you reduce the risk of getting whooping cough or the flu yourself and exposing your newborn. Flu can be especially dangerous for pregnant women, who are much more likely to be hospitalized with the flu than others. While no vaccine is 100% effective, immunization is the single best way to drastically reduce your risk of getting these nasty diseases.

Protect Your Baby: Did you know that your baby gets disease protection (immunity) from you during pregnancy? This immunity will protect your baby from some diseases during the first few months of life when they are most vulnerable to the flu and whooping cough. But this immunity decreases over time, and that’s why babies need vaccines. Vaccines help babies build their own immunity after they are born. While breastfeeding is a great choice for a healthy baby, breastfeeding does not prevent vaccine-preventable diseases. The good news is, vaccines do not interfere with the immunity gained from breastfeeding, and breastfeeding does not make immunizations less effective.

Is it safe to get immunized while I’m pregnant?

Yes. Millions of women in the United States and around the world have safely received flu and Tdap vaccines during their pregnancies. Before a vaccine is recommended for pregnant women, it must be shown to be effective and safe for both mom and baby. These recommendations are supported by many trusted organizations, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Family Physicians. Read more about the safety of these vaccines.

Are there other vaccines I should consider before or during pregnancy?

Yes! If you’re not up to date on all recommended vaccines, many can be given safely during pregnancy – for example, the hepatitis B vaccine, or vaccines you may need for travel. Talk to your doctor, or take this simple vaccine quiz to find out what you might need.

Some vaccines, such as the measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine, or the nasal spray version of the flu vaccine, should not be used during pregnancy. If you are planning to become pregnant, make sure that you’re up to date on your vaccines now to help ensure a healthy pregnancy.

What about family members?

All family members living in your house and anyone who will spend time with your new baby—like grandparents and child care providers—should get the flu and whooping cough vaccines if they have not already done so. If they don’t become ill, they can’t pass these illnesses on to baby! It is safe for family members to receive any routinely recommended immunizations during your pregnancy.