Women's Care of Colorado April 13, 2015

by Juliet Leman, M.D.

I often get questions from women who are pregnant or are trying to get pregnant about whether receiving vaccinations during pregnancy will make them sick or be a health risk to their baby. It’s important for everyone to be vaccinated to defend against common viruses and diseases, but this is especially true for pregnant women. The most important vaccinations for pregnant women and those around them are the flu shot and Tdap.

Flu season can be hazardous to pregnant women who are more prone to catch influenza. Pregnant women should receive a flu shot to protect themselves and their babies from the virus. Getting a flu vaccine with a needle and syringe during pregnancy is perfectly safe and strengthens both the mothers’ and babies’ immune systems. The benefits received by the baby will continue to boost their immune system even after he or she is born. All family members who will be in close contact with the mom-to-be should be vaccinated for the ful as well.

Pregnant women should also receive a Tdap vaccine, advisably between 27 and 36 weeks. Tdap is a booster immunization that protects from three serious diseases: diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (whooping cough). While a pregnant woman may have gotten her Tdap when she was young, it can lose effectiveness as she gets older. Families of pregnant women - particularly grandparents - should receive a Tdap booster shot as well.

To learn more about vaccinations during pregnancy, book an appointment at http://womenscarecolorado.com.

Juliet Leman, M.D., treats patients at Womens Care of Colorado. Her areas of interest include obstetrics, gynecologic surgery and the care for women in all stages of life. She also has an emphasis in minimally invasive surgery, including single incision laparoscopic hysterectomies.