It is important for mom and other caregivers to be up to date on their vaccines to keep themselves and their newborn healthy.
The Tdap vaccine protects the baby’s caregivers from carrying a serious illness called pertussis, also known as “whooping cough.” The Tdap Vaccine is recommended for all pregnant women to receive during the third trimester of pregnancy. By getting vaccinated during pregnancy, antibodies are transferred to the newborn, giving them some protection in the infant’s early life. DTaP or Tdap (depending on the family member’s age) is recommended for all family members and caregivers of the infant at least two weeks before coming in contact with the baby.
Women, including those who are breastfeeding, should receive a dose of Tdap in the immediate postpartum period if they have not been previously vaccinated or the status of the vaccine is unknown.
Measles Mumps Rubella (MMR)
If a mother is exposed to Rubella during pregnancy, the Rubella virus can cause serious birth defects. The rubella vaccine cannot be given during pregnancy. During your prenatal care you were most likely tested for a Rubella status. If you were negative or had a low titer you should receive a vaccination of Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) in the hospital. It is important not to become pregnant for 3 months after the vaccine, so it is advised that you receive this vaccine during your hospital stay.
The pneumonia vaccine is important for mothers who have certain risk factors. Your nurse will screen for this risk factors. Some common ones are asthma, smoking and diabetes.
Influenza “Flu” Vaccine
The influenza vaccine is recommended for everyone. The flu is caused by the influenza virus, and can be spread by coughing, sneezing and close contact. Pregnant women are at high risk for becoming sicker than others. Your baby will not be able to receive the influenza vaccine until six months of age. The best way to protect your baby is for you and your baby’s caregivers to be vaccinated.