August is National Immunization Month. When you are pregnant, you share everything with your baby. This means if you get a vaccine during your pregnancy, you are sharing it with your unborn child. Vaccines help protect you and your baby against serious, preventable diseases.
Of course, some vaccines may be harmful to unborn children. It is important to educate yourself and ask your OB/GYN what vaccines you should consider getting before, during, and after your pregnancy.
The Centers for Disease Control has guidelines on what vaccines are recommended and what are to be avoided. We have compiled a list from the CDC down below:
Measles, Mumps, & Rubella (MMR) – Doctor’s may advise women to receive this vaccine before they become pregnant (or before their FET) if they have not already. Since this is a live virus vaccine, it may be harmful to unborn and newborn babies if administered during or after pregnancy. By protecting yourself with this vaccine before you become pregnant, you are protecting your child from these preventable diseases until it is safe for them to receive the vaccine.
Whooping cough (Tdap) – Whooping cough can be life-threatening to newborns. Up to 20 babies die each year in the United States due to whooping cough. The CDC recommends you get a Tdap vaccine during each pregnancy. The acquired immunity from the vaccine creates protective antibodies and passes them on to the baby before birth. This will provide the child short-term, early protection against whooping cough.
Flu Shot – This vaccine is recommended to women before the start of flu season, no matter if it is during or after pregnancy. Changes in the immune, heart, and lung functions during pregnancy make women more likely to get seriously ill from the flu. It also may increase their chances for serious problems for the developing baby, including premature labor and delivery. Receiving this vaccine after pregnancy may help protect the newborn from flu related complications through breast milk.
Some women may need other vaccines before, during, or after they become pregnant, depending on travel plans or chronic illnesses. As always, it is important to ask your healthcare provider what vaccines you should consider yourself to help protect your baby.
Following your doctor’s advice and getting vaccinated can help your child’s health and well-being before they are even born! With embryo adoption, you can control the pre-natal environment of your adopted child. To learn more about embryo adoption and donation, visit EmbryoAdoption.org