Vaccines help keep a pregnant woman and her growing family healthy. It is best to talk to your health care provider about vaccinations before you become pregnant.
Recommended before Pregnancy
Before becoming pregnant, a woman should be up-to-date on routine adult vaccines, including the Tdap vaccine for prevention of pertussis (whooping cough). This will help protect you and your baby. In general, live vaccines should not be given within a month before conception. If needed, in activated (killed) vaccines may be given at any time before or during pregnancy.
Recommended during Pregnancy
- Tdap – Pregnant women should get a pertussis booster shot (Tdap) with every pregnancy irrespective of their prior history of receiving Tdap. Immunize between 27 and 36 weeks gestation to maximize the transfer of maternal antibody to the infant. Other close contacts of infants, especially parents and children providers (including grandparents), should make sure that they are up-to-date on their Tdap (not just Td) vaccine as well. Contacts who need it should be immunized before mother and baby are discharged after birth, regardless of when the contacts received any prior doses of Td. For more information, see this CDC fact sheet.
- Flu vaccine – Women are at increased risk of serious complications and death from the flu during pregnancy. Vaccinating pregnant women for influenza can protect both the women and their infants, especially infants aged <6 months who are not old enough to receive influenza vaccination. Inactivated influenza vaccine is safe and recommended for all women who are pregnant during influenza season, regardless of trimester. For more information, see this CDC fact sheet.
Recommended after Pregnancy
It is safe fore a woman to receive vaccines right after giving birth, even while she is breastfeeding.
- Tdap – A woman who has not received the Tdap vaccine yet should be vaccinated right after delivery.
- MMR and/or Varicella Vaccine – A woman who is not immune to measles, mumps and rubella and/or varicella (chicken pox) should be vaccinated before leaving the hospital.
- Flu vaccine – If you have your baby before getting your flu shot, you still need to get vaccinated. You, or others who care for your baby, may get the flu, and pass it to the baby. Because Babies younger than 6 months are too young to receive the vaccine, it is important that everyone who cares for your baby get a flu vaccine, including other household members, relatives, and babysitters.
Protecting Your Infant
Did you know that your baby gets disease immunity (protection) from you during pregnancy? But this protection is temporary and only for the diseases that you are immune to. Talk to your health care provider about when your baby will need their own vaccines.