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Before becoming pregnant, you should be up-to-date on routine adult vaccines. This will help protect you and your child. Generally speaking, live vaccines should not be given within a month before conception, while inactivated (killed) vaccines may be given at any time before or during pregnancy, if needed. It is best to talk to your healthcare provider about vaccinations before you become pregnant.
It is safe and very important for a woman who is pregnant during flu season to receive the inactivated flu vaccine. A pregnant woman who gets the flu is at risk for serious complications and hospitalization. Pregnant woman with flu also have a greater chance for serious problems for their unborn baby, including premature labor and delivery. For more information, see Key Facts on Seasonal Flu Vaccine and talk with your healthcare provider.
It is also very safe and important for pregnant women to receive the whooping cough vaccine (Tdap). Whooping cough, or pertussis, can be life-threatening for infants. Vaccinating expectant mothers against whooping cough reduces the risk to her and her infant. Tdap is also recommended for others who spend time with infants. For more information, see Pertussis Prevention and talk with your healthcare provider.
It is safe for a woman to receive vaccines right after giving birth, even while she is breastfeeding. New mothers who have never received Tdap, should be vaccinated right after delivery. Also, a woman who is not immune to measles, mumps and rubella and/or varicella (chickenpox) should be vaccinated before leaving the hospital.
Did you know that your baby gets disease immunity (protection) from you during pregnancy? But this protection is temporary and only for the diseases that you are immune to. Protect your new baby and learn about infant immunization.
Many vaccine-preventable diseases, rarely seen in the United States, are still common in other parts of the world. A pregnant woman planning international travel should talk to her health professional about vaccines. For more information, see Traveling while Pregnant, found on CDC’s Travelers’ Health website.
Also, visit Flu.gov for more information about pregnancy and influenza.