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Vaccines and Pregnancy

Discuss vaccines before, during, and after pregnancy with your healthcare provider. Many vaccines are beneficial to the health of your baby and yourself.

Vaccines Before Pregnancy

Before becoming pregnant, you should be up-to-date on routine adult vaccines. This will help protect you and your child. Discuss vaccines with your healthcare provider. In general:

  • Live vaccines should not be given within a month before getting pregnant or during pregnancy.

  • Inactivated (killed) vaccines may be given at any time before or during pregnancy, if needed.

Vaccines During Pregnancy

If you are pregnant, your healthcare provider will help you decide which vaccines you need based on:

  • Your age

  • Lifestyle

  • High-risk conditions

  • Type and locations of travel

  • Previous vaccinations

Vaccines After Pregnancy

It is safe for a woman to receive vaccines right after giving birth and when breastfeeding. Vaccines can help protect mothers, including:

  • Tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (Tdap), if not received during pregnancy

  • Measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR)

  • Chickenpox (varicella)

  • Flu (influenza), if not received during pregnancy

While you are pregnant and a short time after the baby is born, your baby has the same immunity and protection from disease that you do. This is temporary. The baby must be vaccinated to develop his or her own immunity.

Pregnant Women and International Travel

Many diseases, rarely seen in the United States, are common in other parts of the world. A pregnant woman planning international travel should talk with her healthcare provider about vaccines.

Your healthcare provider should have a record of all the vaccines you have been given. You should also keep a record.

For More on Vaccines and Pregnancy

Maternal Vaccines
www.cdc.gov/vaccines/parents/pregnant.html

Pregnant Travelers
www.cdc.gov/travel/yellowbook/2012/chapter-8-advising-travelers-with-specific-needs/pregnant-travelers.htm 

Infant Immunizations FAQs
www.cdc.gov/vaccines/parents/infants-toddlers.html

Influenza (Flu)
www.flu.gov/prevention-vaccination/vaccination/index.html

Adult Schedule
www.vaccines.gov/who_and_when/adults/index.html

Before Pregnancy

Before becoming pregnant, a woman should be up-to-date on routine adult vaccines. This will help protect her and her child. Live vaccines should be given a month or more before pregnancy. Inactivated vaccines can be given before or during pregnancy, if needed.

During Pregnancy

Did you know that a mother’s immunity is passed along to her baby during pregnancy? This will protect the baby from some diseases during the first few months of life until the baby can get vaccinated.

Flu Vaccine

It is safe, and very important, for a pregnant woman to receive the flu vaccine. To learn more about preventing the flu, visit the CDC website www.cdc.gov/flu.

Tdap Vaccine

A pregnant woman should receive the adult Tdap vaccine after 20 weeks gestational age if she has not already received the vaccine. Vaccinating at this gestational age will help prevent pertussis in mom and in the newborn infant.

Travel

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 with her healthcare provider about vaccines. Information about travel vaccines can be found at CDC’s traveler’s health website at www.cdc.gov/travel.

Childhood Vaccines

Pregnancy is a good time to learn about childhood vaccines. Parents-to-be can learn more about childhood vaccines from the CDC parents’ guide and from the child and adolescent vaccination schedules. This information can be downloaded and printed at www.cdc.gov/vaccines.

After Pregnancy

It is safe for a woman to receive vaccines right after giving birth, even while she is breastfeeding. A woman who has not received the new Tdap vaccine should be vaccinated right after delivery.

Vaccinating a new mother against whooping cough (pertussis) reduces the risk to her baby too. Also, a woman who is not immune to measles, mumps, and rubella and/or chickenpox (varicella) should be vaccinated before leaving the hospital. If she didn’t receive the flu shot during pregnancy, a woman should receive it now because it will protect her baby.

Immunizations and Pregnancy

Vaccines help keep a pregnant woman and her growing family healthy.

Vaccines

Before pregnancy

During pregnancy

After pregnancy

Type of vaccine

Route

Hepatitis A

Yes, if at risk

Yes, if at risk

Yes, if at risk

Inactivated

IM

Hepatitis B

Yes, if at risk

Yes, if at risk

Yes, if at risk

Inactivated

IM

Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

Yes, if 9 through 26 years of age

No, under study

Yes, if 9 through 26 years of age

Inactivated

IM

Influenza TIV

Yes

Yes

Yes

Inactivated IM

IM, ID (18-64 years)

MMR

 

Yes, avoid conception for 4 weeks

No

Yes, give immediately postpartum if susceptible to rubella

Live

SC

Meningococcal:

• polysaccharide

• conjugate

If indicated

If indicated

If indicated

Inactivated Inactivated

SC

IM

 

Pneumococcal Polysaccharide

If indicated

If indicated

 

If indicated

 

Inactivated

IM or SC

Tetanus/Diphtheria Td

Yes, Tdap preferred

Yes, Tdap preferred if 20 weeks gestational age or more

Yes, Tdap preferred

 

Toxoid

 

IM

 

Tdap, one dose only

Yes, preferred

Yes, preferred

 

Yes, preferred

 

Toxoid/ inactivated

IM

 

Varicella

Yes, avoid conception for 4 weeks

No

Yes, give immediately postpartum if susceptible

Live

 

SC

 

For information on all vaccines, including travel vaccines, use this table with www.cdc.gov/vaccines. Get an answer to your specific question by e-mailing cdcinfo@cdc.gov or calling 800-232-4636 (CDC-INFO) in English or Spanish. 

Author: StayWell Custom Communications
Last Annual Review Date: 12/8/2016
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