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Vaccination Guidelines for Women Considering Pregnancy

Learn more about vaccines and pregnancy

As you are contemplating pregnancy,  it is important to maximize your health. One thing to consider are the facts about vaccines and pregnancy. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has standard recommendations for vaccinations in women contemplating pregnancy.

Ideally immunizations should occur before pregnancy because some vaccinations are not safe in pregnancy.  Patients may feel reluctant to have a vaccination because of the fear of affecting the pregnancy adversely. However, the recommended vaccinations have been used extensively and safely. There is no indication that there is any risk to the pregnancy by the recommended vaccinations.

The list for vaccines and pregnancy

Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR vaccine; Rubella = German measles). This vaccine is for all women who have not been previously vaccinated or if bloodwork does not show protection. It should be occur before pregnancy – and pregnancy should not occur within a month of the vaccine.

Varicella (Chicken Pox), This vaccine is for patients who have not had chicken pox and do not show evidence of protection with bloodwork. Women should avoid pregnancy for one month following the vaccine.

Influenza (Flu). This vaccination is for any women who may be in the 2nd or 3rd trimester during flu season (January through March). The injectable version is safe at any time during pregnancy. The intranasal vaccination is not safe.

Tetanus Diptheria Pertussis (DTaP vaccine; Pertussis = Whooping Cough). This vaccine is for adults who will have close contact with an infant of less than 12 months of age. Thus, any woman who might become pregnant or is immediately postpartum should receive it. People need a boost every 10 years.

Hepatitis A. This vaccine is for any woman at high risk of exposure This vaccine is safe to give during pregnancy.

Hepatitis B. This vaccine is for any woman at high risk. The vaccine can be given during pregnancy.

Meningococcal. This vaccine is for people at high risk of exposure, including women living in dormitories. Ideally the vaccine would be given before pregnancy.

Summary of vaccines

Vaccinations can help protect women and their unborn children during and after pregnancy against illnesses with potentially severe side effects.  It is ideal to complete vaccinations before pregnancy, as some vaccinations are not safe to administer during pregnancy.

If you have any questions about which vaccinations are appropriate for you, contact us to learn more.

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