Pregnancy is a special time for the entire expecting family. It is also an important time to take steps to help keep yourself and your baby protected from vaccine-preventable diseases. The vaccines that are recommended during pregnancy protect you and baby now and throughout your child’s life.
If you are planning to become pregnant, now is an important time to check that you are up to date on all recommended vaccines. Some vaccines are especially important for women who are planning to become pregnant because the diseases they protect against can be especially harmful if you get sick during your pregnancy (like measles and rubella). If you can plan ahead, check in on your vaccination status. Learn more about the vaccines that can help you prepare for a healthy pregnancy.
Did you know you can protect your baby from disease during pregnancy? Getting vaccinated while you are pregnant cues your body to create protective antibodies that you can pass on to your baby. These antibodies can help protect your baby during their early months of life, before they’re able to get vaccinated themselves.
The CDC strongly recommends pregnant and breastfeeding individuals get vaccinated against COVID-19. Why? If you are pregnant, you are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19. Getting the COVID-19 vaccine can help protect both you and your baby from serious illness from COVID-19. For answers to your COVID-19 vaccine questions, visit VYF’s Questions and Answers about COVID-19 Vaccines.
The Tdap (Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis) vaccine helps protect against whooping cough which can be very dangerous for your baby. To best protect both you and your baby from whooping cough, the CDC recommends you take the Tdap vaccine during the early part of your 3rd trimester for each pregnancy. If you cannot get the vaccine during your pregnancy, get it immediately after giving birth so some antibodies against whooping cough can pass to your baby if you are breastfeeding.
Influenza (Flu) is more likely to cause hospitalizations and deaths among pregnant people and can be harmful to your developing baby. Getting the flu vaccine can protect the pregnant person from flu or flu-related hospitalizations and prevent complications in labor and delivery. The CDC recommends taking the flu shot during any trimester to best protect both you and your baby. Learn more about this flu season.
RSV is a lower respiratory virus and has become the leading cause of hospitalizations in infants in the United States. As of September 22, 2023, CDC recommends a RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus) vaccine during weeks 32-36 (3rd trimester) of pregnancy to protect your baby from severe RSV.
Public health and pregnancy experts strongly support getting vaccinated during pregnancy, groups making this recommendation include: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), and the American College of Nurse-Midwives.
Pregnancy is also good time to start thinking about the vaccines your baby will need once they are born. Visit our Babies & Children section to learn more about the importance of vaccinating your child according to the recommended immunization schedule.