I LOVE THE FALL!
Along with recommendations for bundling up and staying warm, come STRONG suggestions for vaccinations; i.e., the influenza and Tdap vaccines in pregnant patients.
October – May is designated as flu-season.
ACOG(The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology) recommends that ALL pregnant women, regardless of gestational age, receive the inactivated influenza vaccine.
Pregnancy increases a woman’s risk of serious illness if she contracts the flu. Getting the flu shot during pregnancy provides some protection to the newborn baby via passive immunization. This becomes particularly important as babies aren’t eligible to receive the flu vaccine until they are at least 6mo of age.
The Tdap(Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis) vaccine, while it can be given at any time during pregnancy or during the postpartum period, should optimally be given between 27 and 36 weeks gestation in order to maximize maternal antibody response and ensure adequate passive newborn antibody transfer and levels. This becomes increasingly important since most of the morbidity and mortality associated with “whooping cough” occurs in infants less than 3mo of age.
Examples of vaccines that are contraindicated during pregnancy;i.e., live-attenuated vaccines include:
- mmr(measles, mumps, rubella)
- live-attenuated influenza vaccine
- varicella vaccine
Who should/can get the flu vaccination?
Flu shots are available for individuals aged 6mo and up. People with chronic medical conditions, as well as pregnant women are eligible to get the flu vaccine.
Who should get the Tdap vaccination?
Pregnant moms and family members(grandparents included)/caregivers who will have close contact with newborns. Newborns rely on the passive immunization they receive from vaccinated mothers. This is particularly important since newborns can’t initiate their pertussis vaccination series until 2mo of age.
To all my pregnant patients, to those who will have close contact with pregnant women and their newborns(family, health care workers, etc)…I urge you to get your vaccinations.
Hoping this blog adds value to your day!
Until next time,
Look Better. Feel Better. Be Better.
Wife, mother, Midwesterner, and award-winning OB/GYN, Dr. Angela is equal parts best girlfriend and bold professional, supporting women’s health with innovative approaches to care and heavy doses of humor. Dr. Angela has done more than launch a successful practice, she has defined herself as a voice for a new generation of womanhood, established her ASK DR. ANGELA brand committed to authenticity, and built a community rooted in trust, candor, and compassion.