Pregnancy and Vaccines—Are Your Vaccinations Current?

Many women do not learn until pregnancy that they need some new vaccinations or booster injections (an extra dose of a vaccine to extend your immunity). Keeping your vaccines up-to-date can help you to protect you and your family.

“Vaccines can help moms from contracting communicable diseases and can provide immunity protection to their babies for the first few months of life,” said Chinelo Echeazu, MD, at Memorial Physician Services Women’s Healthcare. “Talk to your primary care provider or OB/GYN about what vaccines you may need before, during or after pregnancy.”

Before Pregnancy

Live vaccines must be received at least one month prior to pregnancy. These include the chicken pox vaccine, MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) and shingles.

By October of every year, you will need a flu vaccine. Your partner should also get a flu shot to decrease the risk of spreading the illness to you or the baby.

Other vaccines you may need before, during or after pregnancy are the hepatitis A, hepatitis B or vaccines for international travel.

During Pregnancy

In addition to the flu shot, a TDAP vaccine is given between 27 and 36 weeks of pregnancy to protect your baby from whooping cough, known as pertussis. Women who receive this vaccine create antibodies that protect their newborn from the illness.

After Pregnancy

Your doctor may recommend that you receive some vaccines after childbirth if you did not get them before, as you can still pass some antibodies to your newborn through breastmilk.

Not sure if you need updated immunizations? 

Check out the CDC’s immunization assessment and speak with your primary care provider or OB/GYN:

  • Memorial Physician Services
  • DMH Medical Group

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