Whooping Cough (Tdap):
Here at Moreland OB/GYN, we recommend you receive a Tdap vaccine during each pregnancy, around 28 weeks, even if your pregnancies are close together. By giving the vaccine near the end of each pregnancy, we are hoping to pass whooping cough immunity onto your baby before they are born and provide coverage to them until they begin receiving their vaccines. “Whooping cough is one of the most common vaccine-preventable diseases in the United States. It is caused by bacteria that spread easily from person to person through personal contact, coughing, and sneezing. It can be very serious for babies and even cause them to stop breathing. Pregnant women should receive a dose of Tdap during each pregnancy, preferably at 27 through 36 weeks – to protect themselves and their baby. In addition all family members and caregivers (like babysitters or grandparents) of infants should also get vaccinated with Tdap”. (Centers for Disease Control, 2014)
Flu Vaccine If you’re pregnant, a flu shot is your best protection against serious illnesses caused by the flu. Keep in mind, influenza is a respiratory illness, not associated with nausea, vomiting and diarrhea – “stomach flu”.
During pregnancy your immune system is compromised, focusing more on protecting your baby instead of you. Due to this, it makes it much easier to pick up common viruses, colds and the flu. Typically if you get the flu during pregnancy it is a more severe case and can possibly cause problems with the pregnancy. In regards to the flu vaccine the Center for Disease Control states, “It is safe, and very important for a woman who is pregnant to receive the inactivated flu vaccine (also called the flu shot). Pregnant women who get the flu are at increased risk for severe illnesses from influenza and their babies are also at risk. Complications from the flu can include premature labor, babies that are small for gestational age, hospitalization, and, rarely, death. Risk for serious complications and pregnant women with flu also have a greater chance for serious problems for their unborn baby, including premature labor and delivery. Pregnant women can receive the flu shot at any time, during any trimester. In addition, because babies younger than 6 months are too young to receive the flu vaccine, it is important that everyone who cares for your baby also get a flu vaccine. You should continue to get a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protection you and your family against the flu”. (Center for Disease Control, 2014) During the flu season (October through March) we will remind you of the importance of receiving this vaccine and, with your consent, administer the vaccine.