Pregnancy is such a special time for the entire expecting family. It is a time of planning and preparing for the birth of a child. It is also important to begin considering the steps you can take to help keep yourself and your baby protected from vaccine-preventable diseases – now and throughout your child’s life.
If you are planning to become pregnant, there are things you can do before and between pregnancies to increase your chances of having a healthy baby such as taking folic acid every day; quitting smoking, alcohol and street drugs; and making sure you are up-to-date on all recommended vaccines. Learn more.
Vaccines are a part of a healthy pregnancy. When you get vaccinated during pregnancy, you are not only protecting yourself against dangerous, potentially deadly diseases, you are also passing some protection (immunity) *directly* to your baby.
When a pregnant person gets vaccinated, their body creates protective antibodies (immunity against diseases) and passes some of these antibodies to their baby that will last until their little one is ready to start getting their own vaccines.
Your OB-GYN or midwife can tell you which vaccines are right for you throughout your pregnancy, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and pregnancy experts strongly recommend the COVID-19, flu and Tdap (whooping cough) vaccines for pregnant women. Take a look at the Immunization for Pregnant Women: A Call to Action.
Flu Vaccine – The flu can cause serious health problems for pregnant women and their babies. Learn how getting the flu vaccine during pregnancy is safe and keeps both you and your baby protected from flu and its serious complications.
Tdap Vaccine – Whooping cough (also known as pertussis) can cause serious illness in people of all ages, but it is particularly dangerous for young babies. This is why the CDC and pregnancy experts recommended that pregnant people get a Tdap vaccine during the 3rd trimester of every pregnancy. Learn how getting the Tdap vaccine during pregnancy is safe and keeps you and your baby protected from whooping cough and its possibly serious complications, including hospitalization and death.
COVID-19 Vaccine – Pregnant and recently pregnant people have a higher risk for more severe illness from COVID-19. In addition, people who have COVID-19 during pregnancy are also at increased risk for preterm birth (delivering the baby earlier than 37 weeks) and stillbirth, and might be at increased risk for other pregnancy complications. The CDC and other pregnancy experts STRONGLY RECOMMEND pregnant, recently pregnant and breastfeeding individuals get vaccinated against COVID-19. A growing amount of data confirms that COVID-19 vaccines are safe during pregnancy. For answers to your COVID-19 vaccine questions, scroll down to the Commonly Asked Questions section below or visit our page Questions and Answers About COVID-19 Vaccines.
Pregnancy is also good time to start thinking about the vaccines your baby will need once they are born. Especially because your little one will need their first vaccine before leaving the hospital.
Questions about the safety of vaccinating during pregnancy? See answers below in Commonly Asked Questions About Vaccines for Pregnant Women. Find more answers to your questions about vaccines in the Questions About Vaccines section of this website.