Vaccinations In Pregnancy

Vaccinations in pregnancy model 01, OGCG Melbourne, VIC

Your immune system can take a dip during pregnancy, which means that you could be more susceptible to some illnesses and infections. Some of these may prove to be harmful to both you and your growing baby. That is the main reason to read OGCG vaccinations in pregnancy article.

Adhering to some simple precautions can help to reduce the risk to both you and your baby. Getting immunised against certain infections can prove to be an effective means of protecting you both.

When possible, prior to becoming pregnant, you should ensure that you are immunised against the diseases that can pose a risk to your health and the health of your unborn baby sick. These could include the following.

  • Polio
  • Tetanus
  • Hepatitis B
  • Mumps
  • Measles
  • Chickenpox
  • Rubella
  • Whooping cough
  • Influenza


While most healthy individuals can typically tolerate coming down with the flu, pregnant women are at an increased risk of severe complications from influenza. It is recommended that each pregnant woman gets the flu vaccine. The flu vaccine is considered to be safe at all stages of pregnancy. Vaccinations in pregnancy can also provide some protection for the baby after birth.


Whooping cough is a very serious illness for babies that are less than 12 months of age. The virus can lead to severe complications, permanent brain and lung disabilities. Death is also a serious risk, particularly in the most vulnerable of little ones. The whooping cough immunisation is recommended during the third trimester.

The recommended vaccination timeframe is between the 28th and 32nd weeks of pregnancy. The antibodies will cross the placenta and protect the baby in their first few months of life before he or she can be safely vaccinated. If you haven’t had the vaccine during pregnancy you should have it postpartum. Parents and any other adults who will care for the baby should have a vaccine booster if it has been more than 10 years since being vaccinated. Ideally, this should be done two weeks prior to contact with the infant.


Exposure to rubella can pose a risk to the unborn child. It can result in serious fetal abnormalities. Some of these could include deafness, blindness, heart defects and intellectual disability. The best way to protect yourself and your unborn baby is to ensure that you are immune before pregnancy. The MMR vaccine is administered soon after birth, if a mother is not immune. Based on an early pregnancy blood test. A blood test after immunisation will verify immunity. The MMR vaccine cannot be administered during pregnancy. Women should not conceive for a full month after immunisation. It is safe for breastfeeding mothers to receive the vaccination.


Chickenpox can present a number of severe complications for pregnant women. It can also bring with it risks for the unborn baby. The best way to protect expectant mothers and their babies is to ensure immunity before pregnancy. The varicella vaccine can be administered after birth if a mother is not immune, based on an early pregnancy blood test. A blood test after immunisation will verify immunity. The vaccine for chickenpox cannot be administered during pregnancy. Women should not conceive a full month after immunisation. It is safe for breastfeeding mothers to receive the vaccination.

Vaccinations during pregnancy

Are vaccines safe?

Vaccines can be safely administered when you are pregnant. The exception will be vaccines that contain live viruses. Some patients may have an adverse reaction to an ingredient used in a vaccine. As an example, the influenza vaccine may contain eggs. Those who have allergies should be sure to discuss them with their medical provider prior to getting any type of vaccinations.

Why are some vaccines not safe during pregnancy?

It is recommended that pregnant women avoid vaccines that contain live viruses. There are unknown risks to the unborn baby. Examples of the vaccines that should be avoided when you are pregnancy include the following.

  • MMR vaccine
  • Chickenpox vaccine
  • Shingles vaccine
  • Varicella vaccine
  • Pneumococcal vaccine
  • Both the oral polio and inactive polio vaccines
  • HPV vaccine

What side effects are possible after vaccinations in pregnancy?

Side effects from the vaccinations in pregnancy you receive should be mild. They can occur up to three weeks after receiving the vaccination. If your side effects become severe, be sure to call your healthcare provider. Some side effects may include the following, as could be based upon the vaccination itself.

  • Redness and tenderness at the injection site
  • Mild swelling at the injection site
  • Mild headache
  • Fatigue and muscle ache
  • Low-grade fever

I didn’t know I was pregnant when vaccinated

Be sure to mention this to your doctor. This will allow us to monitor closely the health of your unborn baby. Be sure to always disclose any pertinent medical history to your doctor.

Can I get vaccines before travel?

Travel to certain parts of the world will definitely require vaccines, or boosters, whether you are pregnant of not. One of the few exceptions to avoiding a live virus vaccine when you are pregnant is the yellow fever vaccine. If you will be traveling to an area where yellow fever is a serious risk to you and your unborn baby, you should get the vaccine. The risks of exposure to yellow fever far outweigh any potential risks associated with the vaccine.

Do you have questions about vaccinations in pregnancy and their safety? Be sure to call Obstetrics & Gynaecology Consulting Group.

5 female specialist obstetricians, O&GCG Melbourne, Dr Jean Wong, Dr Leah Xu, Dr Natalia Khomko, Dr Perri Dyson and Dr Robin Thurman

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