Certain vaccines can help protect you and your baby from serious illnesses. Getting the recommended vaccines before and during your pregnancy plays an important role in safeguarding your health—and baby’s too. As always, talk to your OB GYN in Jacksonville Beach if you have any concerns.
Vaccines to Get Before Your Pregnancy
As you might have imagined, not all vaccines are safe during pregnancy. If you’re already pregnant, you should not receive a live virus vaccine because there’s a risk it may harm your baby. However, getting certain vaccines before you become pregnant will help protect you and your baby. Always ask your physician about their specific recommendations.
- Chicken Pox. If you survived childhood without catching chicken pox, you should consider getting this vaccine pre-pregnancy. Having chicken pox as an adult can be very serious, and even more so for pregnant women. It can cause severe birth defects or pass a life-threatening form of the infection to your baby during delivery.
- Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR). These viruses can cause serious problems if contracted during pregnancy. Measles and mumps increase the risk of miscarriage, and measles may also increase the risk of premature labor. Rubella contracted during pregnancy can cause severe birth defects, including hearing loss and mental disabilities.
- Hepatitis B. Staying current with your HepB vaccine is wise if you’re at high risk for this viral infection. This includes healthcare workers and women who have had multiple sexual partners in the past six months. Hepatitis B can be passed on to your baby and cause serious health problems like liver failure and liver cancer.
Vaccines to Get During Pregnancy
Your immune system is of vital importance to your unborn baby. It’s his or her first line of defense against illness. North Florida OBGYN of Jacksonville Beach suggests getting the following vaccines during pregnancy.
- Flu Shot. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests a flu shot for any woman who is pregnant during flu season. The flu shot is safe during pregnancy because it is made of dead viruses. However, do not get the FluMist nasal spray form of the vaccine, as it is made of live viruses. Flu season is November through March, and it’s advised that you get the vaccine early in the season. The flu is unlikely to harm your baby, but pregnant women who contract the flu usually suffer move severe symptoms and complications.
- Tetanus, Diptheria and Pertussis (Tdap). This vaccine has become increasingly important due to an increase in cases of pertussis—or whooping cough. Tdap can be given safely while pregnant. The preferred timeframe to receive it is between 27 and 36 weeks of pregnancy. When you get this vaccine while pregnant, you pass on some of the immunity to your baby. This is important since whooping cough is extremely contagious and dangerous for infants. You might also want to ask people like grandparents, close friends, and aunts and uncles who are going to be in contact with your baby to get the Tdap vaccine at least two weeks ahead of time.
North Florida OBGYN of Jacksonville Beach
If you’re planning on becoming pregnant, talk to your doctor about which vaccines they advise for you. During pregnancy, your physician can tell you the vaccines that are safe for you and your baby. Our team of caring physicians is here to make your pregnancy safe, happy and healthy. Call us today to schedule your visit at 904-479-5223.