If you’re trying for a baby or already pregnant, chances are you already know about the healthy foods, exercise and rest you need to keep your body in check. Whilst going to your midwifery and doctor appointments, they may mention certain vaccinations to get before or during your pregnancy.
When you are pregnant your body is weakened by the immune system which supports your growing baby, which means we’re at a greater risk of catching something and getting really sick. It depends on the type of vaccination but your GP can inform you if you have any worries about what is recommended and safe.
What vaccinations are safe during pregnancy?
Flu season is between November right through till March and with colds and flu’s being so easy to pick up just about anywhere these days, it’s good to ask your doctor about when to book you in for the flu jab. The flu jab is made of dead viruses, so it’s safe for both mother and baby. Most doctors recommend you get your shot in October or November right before the flu season starts and your body is fully covered.
It’s so easy for anyone to pick up the flu as it is, so mums-to-be who come with the flu, especially in the second half of pregnancy, can suffer many different symptoms including pneumonia. For those who get the flu when they aren’t pregnant, we feel all sorts of nastiness, but when pregnant, the symptoms are heightened and can be a danger to our baby, which can last from a few days to weeks. If you feel like you have the flu or could catch it from someone close to you, get in touch with your doctor ASAP, who will advise you to get plenty of rest and drink plenty of fluids.
Whooping Cough Jab
Whooping cough also known as pertussis, is a highly contagious respiratory disease and there’s a fair bit of it going around at the moment. Pregnant women can help protect their babies from it with a vaccination from 20 weeks, after the foetal scan, up to 32 weeks pregnant. Babies who are born without protection are often very unwell and most will be admitted to hospital because of it and if severe, complications can lead to something much worse, including death. Speak to your GP or midwife about the jab if you’ve missed it before the 32-week period as you can have it right up until you go into labour.
Hepatitis B Vaccination
If you’re at a high risk of getting hepatitis B and are thinking of having a baby or are already pregnant, you will be advised to have this vaccination. It’s not a live vaccine and therefore there is no evidence of any risk to you or your baby.
If you’re travelling abroad and are pregnant, it’s good to know what is available to you to protect you and your baby, but it is advised by the NHS not to travel to countries where there could be a risk and vaccinations are required. If you’re unsure about where you’re travelling to, speak to your GP.