It is very important to pay close attention to what you put into your body while pregnant. This fear and nervousness unfortunately spreads over to flu shots and other vaccines. This is regardless of the fact that some vaccines are actually crucial for expecting moms. Immunization during pregnancy not only protects the health of the expecting mother, it also protects her baby from the bay it’s delivered thanks to the antibodies that pass from the mother to the baby during pregnancy.
Below are two vaccines that every pregnant woman should get.
Influenza (also known as flu)
The Flu vaccines is recommended to everyone older than 6 months. This includes pregnant women. Expecting moms have low immunity against infections and therefore get sicker from flu. They are also more vulnerable to flu complications including hospitalization and sometimes even death.
Getting a flu while pregnant can result to preterm births, low birth weight as well as other health problems for the baby. Getting the vaccine protects the mother as well as protects the baby against flu for the first 6 months after birth. High risk flu complications like pneumonia during infancy are therefore done away with.
The flu shot can be administered at any stage of the pregnancy but the nasal spray form should be avoided during pregnancy as it contains a live but weakened virus.
Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis)
The “P” in Tdap stands for Pertussis, commonly known as the whooping cough. This is a highly contagious illness causing violent and uncontrollable coughing. It can lead to other serious complications, among them pneumonia and trouble breathing. This is especially the case in infants and young children.
The dangers of infant deaths associated with whooping cough are so serious that experts advice that pregnant women should get the Tdap vaccine during every pregnancy. The vaccine is not only safe, it also protects the baby until they are old enough to be vaccinated themselves.
The vaccine should be administered in the third trimester but no later than 36 weeks of pregnancy to give the body enough time to build protective antibodies. Since the antibodies decrease over time, another vaccine will be needed if you get pregnant again to protect that baby as well.
Read more on Health.com
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