Pregnant women in the High Desert region should talk with their OB/GYN about what vaccinations might benefit them during their pregnancy. The specific vaccinations that a woman receives will depend on her own personal health history, her age, her lifestyle, any preexisting conditions and her personal vaccination history.
Common Vaccines That are Administered During Pregnancy
Tdap Vaccine — The Tdap vaccine protects people against whooping cough, or pertussis. The whooping cough is easily preventable through vaccine, and it’s especially important that parents and caregivers receive this vaccine as whooping cough can be fatal for young infants. It is recommended that pregnant women get a dose of the Tdap vaccine during each pregnancy as the vaccine will not only protect them but also their unborn child. During pregnancy, this vaccine is typically administered between 27 weeks and 36 weeks pregnant.
Hepatitis B Vaccine — Hepatitis B vaccine is designed to prevent people from contracting Hepatitis B, which is a disease of the liver. Hepatitis B can lead to long-term liver problems, such as cancer. It is passed through bodily fluids, so if a mother happens to have Hepatitis B she should be vaccinated in order to protect her unborn child from contracting the disease through childbirth. The healthcare provider will determine whether the Hepatitis B vaccine is necessary or not.
Flu Shot — An annual flu vaccine is recommended for all people, but it is especially important that pregnant women receive this vaccination. The flu vaccine will protect a woman and her unborn child from the flu, which can lead to complications such as premature labor and small gestational size for the child. The flu vaccine will help protect the baby after it is born, which is beneficial because babies under the age of six months cannot receive the flu vaccine. This vaccine can be administered at any point during a woman’s pregnancy.
Travel Vaccines — When pregnant women plan to travel internationally, there may be vaccines that are required in order to protect her while she is away. Travel vaccines vary by the woman, the destination and the length of time she will be away.
Other Vaccines — Other vaccines that may be administered to pregnant women depending on their health history or lifestyle include the Hepatitis A vaccine as well as the meningococcal vaccine.
Vaccinations are considered one of the best ways to help prevent serious illnesses not only for the mother, but also for her unborn child. Vaccinations that are administered during pregnancy not only work to protect the pregnant woman, but also protect the baby, as the vaccination will provide its effects to the child, as well. Women should do research on these vaccines and talk with their doctors about which vaccines might be right for them before, during and after pregnancy.