August is National Immunization Awareness Month. Throughout the month, we will highlight the importance of vaccinations for people of all ages. This week's blog focuses on the importance of vaccines for pregnant women.
Did you know that pregnant women who are vaccinated can give immunity to their babies? Getting vaccinated keeps mothers and their children stay safe from dangerous diseases. The CDC recommends three main vaccines for pregnant women: flu, whooping cough, and MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccines.
It is important to get all of your adult vaccinations before trying to get pregnant. This will help you to be healthy, and give immunity to your baby. If you are already pregnant, it is not too late to get your vaccinations! Below is a list of diseases that are particularly harmful to pregnant women and their babies.
- Influenza (The flu)
- Pregnant women have a higher risk of developing complications from the flu.
- Having the flu while pregnant can cause premature labor and birth.
- Getting the seasonal flu vaccine every year is the best way to prevent flu.
- Whooping Cough
- As many as 20 infants die in the United States from whooping cough every year.
- Babies with whooping cough often need to go to the hospital.
- Getting vaccinated during pregnancy against pertussis (Tdap vaccine) can help protect the baby.
- Measles, Mumps, Rubella
- Rubella can lead to a miscarriage or birth defects.
- The CDC suggests women get this vaccine before getting pregnant.
- After getting the vaccine a woman should wait at least one month before trying to get pregnant.
- Cases of measles, mumps, and rubella are less common in the United States today, but cases do still occur and the diseases are dangerous to mothers and babies. If you plan to travel to an area where these diseases are more common, getting vaccinated before you go will help protect you and your baby.
- The MMR vaccine provides protection against all three diseases.
Other vaccines may also be needed. Talk to your healthcare provider about what vaccines make sense for you.