IMPORTANT VACCINES FOR NEW
PARENTS PT. 2
AND WHEN TO GET THEM
When my husband and I decided it might be time to start our family a few months ago, I knew that we should schedule appointments with our doctors to get clean bills of health before we did anything else. When my nephew was born, my sister made sure that our whole family received the Tdap vaccine (Tetanus, Diptheria and Pertussis) before we were allowed near the baby. I figured there were probably other important vaccines for new parents that we would need to get, but there were a few things I didn’t realize until I started looking into it.
A quick Google of “important vaccines for new parents” brings up a whole slew of information that can be intimidating to read through. So, I’ll save you the trouble and summarize everything you need to know here! A few days ago I summarized the vaccines that need to be administered either before (in some cases up to 8 weeks before) or after pregnancy. Now, for your reading plreasure, here are the vaccines you’ll want to get during your pregnancy!
- Tetanus, Diptheria and Pertussis (Tdap) – Here is where your shot schedule as a soon-to-be mother will vary from that of your relatives. Instead of getting this shot before you conceive, it is recommended that you receive it between the 27th and 36th weeks of your pregnancy. That way, your baby receives some of the immunity to Pertussis (also known as Whooping Cough) before they are even born. This is especially important, because Pertussis is most dangerous to infants in the days between birth and their first Tdap immunization at 2 months. Here is a super fun graphic (that’s mostly sarcastic, but said graphic is helpful) put together by the CDC about Whooping Cough/Pertussis.
- Influenza (Flu) – The flu vaccine that doctors (and apparently pharmacies now, too?) administer changes every year to fight against the strains of flu that they believe will be most prevalent. So, naturally, the CDC recommends you get the flu shot every…single…year. It’s perfectly safe for you to get a flu shot while you are pregnant, just make sure you receive the inactivated shot, and not the nasal spray (which contains a live virus). Flu season runs from October to May, so that is when you (and baby) will be most vulnerable. I have never gotten a flu shot before, and I haven’t caught the flu in many, many moons. That being said…I guess I’ll have to get one this year, since it won’t be just my health that I would be risking.
- Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Pneumococcal and Meningococcal vaccines – These bad boys won’t be important for every mother to get while pregnant, but if you travel a lot, especially to Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Mexico, Eastern Europe…Central America…South America…alright. It seems that unless you’re only going to Western Europe, Antarctica or somewhere else in North America, you’ll definitely want to ask your doctor about these vaccines.
That pretty much covers all of the big boys. If you want more information on important vaccines, or have questions about any of this, the CDC has a number of great resources about vaccines with regard to pregnant women. I hope you found this información (sometimes I feel an uncontrollable urge to use Spanish words) useful! I know I did. 😀