August is National Immunization Awareness Month and it is a good reminder that everyone needs vaccines throughout their lives. Start early and get vaccinated during pregnancy.
Finding out you are pregnant is a life changer. During your pregnancy, your mind is full of baby names, nursey colors, gender reveal party themes and ideas, and what you should be taking and eating; but you should be thinking about what vaccines you need.
Vaccines are not just to protect you against diseases while pregnant, but are for your future child. Vaccinations while pregnant pass some protection on to your baby that remain in their system for the first few months of life. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that pregnant women receive the whooping cough vaccine, called Tdap, during each pregnancy.
The Tdap helps the mother’s body to produce antibodies that pass on to her baby before birth. This provides the baby with the antibodies to fight against the whooping cough before they produce their own immunity through child vaccinations that start at two-to-three months old. Another important vaccination that is recommended for pregnant women is the flu shot, to help the baby fight against the flu in the early days after birth.
“It is important to talk to your doctor about getting vaccinated while pregnant to help protect not only yourself during pregnancy but your baby during their first few months of life,” said Paula Proffitt, Infection Control Director at Plains Memorial Hospital. “Newborns are most vulnerable during the start of their life to the complications associated with the whooping cough and flu.”
So, if you are pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant talk to your provider about these vaccinations and any other methods you can take to increase your baby’s health and protect them against devastating diseases from the start of their life.
You can find more information about the vaccines on our website, plainsmemorial.com, or talking to your healthcare provider at the Medical Center of Dimmitt, 806-647-2194.