Protecting yourself and your baby with the proper vaccines is very important. During pregnancy you may not be able to get certain vaccines. That is why it is essential to get all the correct vaccines before you try to get pregnant.
One of the major things that you should do before getting pregnant is making sure that you are up to date with all the required vaccines. This is a great way to ensure that both you and your baby are safe during the pregnancy.
Vaccines not only help keep you safe, they are also essential in protecting your baby. Your baby’s first line of defense against some deadly diseases is your immunity system. That is why it is very important to be up to date with all your vaccines before you try to get pregnant.
How can I know if I need to get the vaccines?
A simple blood test can tell you whether you are immune to the diseases. This can be easily done with your pre-pregnancy checkup. In case you are not immune, you should definitely get the vaccines before becoming pregnant.
Why is it necessary to get vaccinated before getting pregnant?
Pregnancy is known to weaken your immune system. This is done in order to support the grwoing baby. As a mother-to-be, you stand to be at a greater risk of falling sick. This is why it is important to have all your vaccinations in order well before you get pregnant.
Another reason is that some vaccinations are not considered safe to be taken during pregnancy. However, these are essential to keep your immunity strong. This is why you you should get these vaccines before getting pregnant.
Live virus vaccines can harm your growing baby. This is the reason why doctors recommend getting such vaccines at leat one month before getting pregnant.
Must Have Vaccines Before Pregnancy
Even though there are some vaccines that are considered to be safe during pregnancy, some women find it more convenient to take them beforehand. This is because of the lowered threshold of pain experienced during pregancy.
Here are some of the vaccines that you need before getting pregnant:
Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccine (MMR)
Measles is one of the most contagious illnesses. It begins with a fever, runny nose, and cough. It is soon followed by a red rash. The spotted rashes are likely to appear within a couple of days of the fever and other symptoms.
Mumps is another contagious viral illness. It causes swelling of the salivary glands. Getting either mumps or measles during your pregnancy can increase the risk of miscarriage. There is also the chance for preterm labor.
German Measles or Rubella virus also presents flu-like symptoms. Rashes are also common in this disease. It can be very harmful during pregnancy. Birth defects have been noticed in about 85% of the babies whose moms develop it during the first trimester.
Making sure you are immune against these will help you avoid the possible complications. You can be sure of a healthy pregnancy.
This is one of the most communicable diseases. It is marked by the itchy and uncomfortable rashes. You will also experience fever. Women who contract chicken pox within the first five months of pregnancy, are more likely to experience complications.
Babies can suffer from birth defects including paralyzied limbs. Malformed limbs can also be seen in babies whose mothers suffered from chicken pox. Moreover, mothers with chicken pox at the time of delivery can also pass on a life-threatening form of this virus to their baby.
In order to safeguard your baby from these harmful effects, it is important to make sure that you are immune to chicken pox. One of making sure of the immunity is to keep your vaccinations up to date.
This virus causes your liver to inflame. In case your work takes you to countries where this disease is common, it is essential for you to get yourself immune. Some of the places where Hepatitis A is prevalent include Eastern Europe, Mexico, and South or Central America.
If you are likely to travel to any of these places before getting pregnant, it is a good idea to get the vaccine. It can also be necessary if you work in a lab where you may be exposed to this virus. In case you suffer from chronic liver disease, your doctor can recommend Hepatitis A vaccination before you get pregnant.
It is important to keep yourself immune to this dangerous viral infection. It affects your liver and can cause great harm. If you are in a profession that makes you come in contact with the bodily fluids or blood of people affected with Hepatitis B, it is essential to keep yourself up to date with this vaccine.
Mothers with hepatitis B can pass it on to their unborn children. This can cause severe damage to your baby’s liver. These include liver cancer and liver failure. The Hepatitis B vaccines come in a series of three shots.
It is not necessary to complete all three shots before you are pregnant. You can complete the series safely during pregnancy.
Influenza or flu can be very unpleasant during pregnancy. It is made out of dead viruses, so it is considered to be safe to be taken during pregnancy also. However, you can also get this vaccine before you get pregnant.
The ideal time to get a flu shot is in October or November. One important thing to remember is that flu strains change every season. That is why last year’s shots will become ineffective against this year’s strain.
Even though the flu vaccine is safe to be taken at any time during the pregnancy, it is best to avoid the nasal spray variety. This kind is made of live viruses and are not safe for your baby.
Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
This is responsible for causing maximum cases of cervical cancers and genital warts. This vaccine has only been around for about ten years. If you are below 26 years of age, make this vaccine a must before getting pregnant.
Earlier there was not enough research on the matter to show its safety during pregnancy. However, now it has been proved to be safe even in early pregnancy. You can safely get this vaccine shot in a series of three before getting pregnant.
If you are at risk from infections caused by this particular bacteria, then you can get the vaccine before getting pregnant. Some of the infections caused by the bacteria include:
- Ear infection
The vaccines for this is also safe to be taken during pregnancy. Taking this vaccine shot will ensure that you do not suffer from these diseases and that essentially means that your body will already develop the immunity to fight off the chances of similar diseases.
Tetanus/Diptheria/Pertussis Shot (Tdap) :
The increase in the risk of whooping cough is alarming. That is why, taking this vaccine would not only protect you from that fatal disease but it will make sure that your body is immune before you get pregnant . Before pregnancy you must take a Tdap vaccine including the pertussis or the whooping cough vaccine. This vaccine can be taken during any time before pregnancy.
Tetanus is also known as lockjaw. It is a fatal disease which can damage your central nervous system. It might cause painful muscle spasms and trigger convulsions. The bacterium causing the disease is present in soil or in animal waste. Any kind of major or minor cut, you experience before pregnancy, can expose you to the threat of such fatal disease.
Diptheria is also a critical disease. Earlier, before the discovery of the vaccination, dipetheria snatched many innocent lives of young children. Diptheria booster is needed every 10 years and especially when you are planning to get pregnant. Before you experience hacking cough associated with whooping sound, it is better to take the necessary protection, in the form of the vaccination.
Meningococcal vaccines are also important vaccines which are needed to be taken when you are planning to get pregnant. It is a very risky disease which affects the brain and the spinal cord of a person. Meningitis can be transmitted through both bacteria and virus. Bacterial meningitis can be much more dangerous than a viral one.
Exposing your body to meningitis, before you get pregnant, is not a good idea. It might cause your would be child a lifelong disability or even death. The meningococcal vaccine before pregnancy can protect your child from bacterial meningitis. There are two types of meningococcal vaccines which are given to pregnant women. The first kind is known as the meningococcal conjugate vaccines or MCV4 while the second ones are known by the name meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine or MPSV4. However, only the former is known to be more effective than the latter.
It is a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the CDC recommended vaccine and can be taken before pregnancy.
Precautions and Risks:
If you are likely to be allergic to certain shots, then doctor’s consultation is required. For example if you are allergic to baker’s yeast then hepatitis B should be avoided.
Moreover, people with egg allergy should tend to avoid flu shot. At the same time people who are allergic to gelatin they should avoid MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine. However, if you are skipping vaccine shots, you should discuss alternative means of protecting yourself from the diseases.