Vaccines You Need Before and During Pregnancy
Pregnancy weakens the immune system to support your baby during that time, which puts your body unde...
Vaccines come in three forms: live virus, dead virus, and toxoids. Pregnant women shouldn't get live virus vaccines because there's a slight chance that this will harm the unborn baby. Vaccines made from dead viruses are safe. This article is for you to understand the vaccines you need before and during your pregnancy.
Vaccines To Get Before Pregnancy
Chicken Pox (Varicella)
Chicken pox is an extremely contagious disease, it causes fever and itchy rashes. Having chickenpox as an adult can be quite serious and if you're pregnant. It's not only uncomfortable but can also cause serious trouble for your unborn baby. Before you become pregnant, consult your doctor to see if you need the chicken pox vaccine.
Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccine (MMR)
Measles is a very contagious illness caused by a virus. It starts with fever, cough, and runny nose and is followed by a spotted red rash a couple of days later.
Mumps is also a contagious viral disease that causes the salivary glands to swell.
Rubella virus is also called German measles, it has flu-like symptoms often followed by a rash.
If you are infected with any of this during pregnancy, the risk of miscarriage may rise. Up to 85 percent of babies of moms who contract it during the first trimester develop serious birth defects, such as hearing loss and intellectual disabilities.
Hepatitis B is an infection of your liver. It can cause scarring of the organ, liver failure, and cancer. It can be fatal if it isn't treated. Hepatitis B can be passed on to an unborn baby, and it can lead to liver failure and liver cancer. The vaccine comes in a series of three shots, but you don't need to finish all three doses before conceiving. It's safe to continue with the series of these vaccines during pregnancy.
Vaccines To Get During Pregnancy
Influenza (Flu) vaccine
The flu shot is made of dead viruses, so it's safe for both you and baby. The best time to get a flu shot is in October or November, before the flu season is in full swing. Since flu strains change every year, the vaccine does too, so don't rely on last year's shot to get you through this year's season.
Tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis shot (Tdap)
Every pregnant woman should get this shot between 27 to 36 weeks of pregnancy. When you get this vaccine during pregnancy, you pass on some immunity to help protect your unborn baby from whooping cough before he's old enough to get his own vaccine, the first of which he'll get at when he is 2 months old. The vaccine is made with toxoids, so it's safe to get during pregnancy.
Hepatitis B vaccine
It's safe to get this shot when you're pregnant. The hepatitis B virus causes liver disease and is transmitted through sexual contact, body fluids or shared hypodermic needles, and it can be present in the body for many years without showing any symptoms. A pregnant woman with hepatitis B can pass the infection to her baby during delivery, and without treatment, the baby has a high risk of contracting serious liver diseases as an adult. Every pregnant woman should be screened for Hepatitis B because it's possible to have it without knowing.
Hepatitis A vaccine
Hepatitis A virus causes an inflammation of the liver. This vaccine protects against a liver disease that spreads through contaminated food or water. Symptoms include fever, fatigue, and nausea. In rare cases, Hepatitis A may contribute to premature labor and infection in the newborn. It's produced from dead viruses so the risks are low.
If you have a specific chronic condition, such as diabetes or kidney disease, you should go for the Pneumococcal vaccine, which protects against some forms of Pneumonia. Although potential harm to an unborn baby is unknown, researchers believe that the risk is low.
Meningococcus bacterial infection can result in severe meningitis which means inflammation of the membranes covering the brain. It can progress extremely rapidly, sometimes causing death in 24 to 48 hours.
Vaccines To Avoid During Pregnancy
Now that we have discussed the vaccines you need before and during pregnancy, let us look at some of the vaccines that you completely need to avoid during pregnancy.
You need to get this vaccine before pregnancy and not during pregnancy. Since the vaccine contains a live virus, it's not safe for women who are already pregnant. If you're exposed to the Varicella virus while you're pregnant and you haven't received the vaccine, talk to your doctor about getting the varicella-zoster immune globulin, which can offer you temporary immunity and prevent complications.
Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR)
This vaccine should be taken before pregnancy and not during pregnancy. It contains live viruses, so it is not safe for women who are already pregnant.
Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is responsible for most cervical cancers and genital warts. The series of three vaccines are recommended for kids 9 or older and young adults up to age 26.
This shot protects people from Shingles, which like Chickenpox, is caused by the Varicella virus. It's most common in those older than 50 and in people with certain medical issues. There isn't much research on the effects of the vaccine on pregnant women, so doctors advise you get the shot after you deliver.
Make sure you are up to date on all your vaccines. Do not forget to consult your doctor before you make any decision.
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